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Kraft made a $16.3 billion offer for the British confectionary. As is the case in nearly all acquisition proposals, the share price of the acquirer, Kraft, fell.
A Citi analyst upgraded KFT from "hold" to "buy," citing improving sales volume trends as well as moderating input cost inflation.
An analyst at BMO upgraded KFT from "market perform" to "outperform," citing stronger sales of key brands, moderating input costs, and the realization of savings two years into the company's three year saving initative.
An analyst at UBS downgraded Kraft to "neutral" from "buy," citing increased competition from private label brands and falling international sales.
Kraft announced its 4Q earnings fell by 72%, due to high restructuring costs and a loss in market share after raising its prices in 2008. The company also lowered its 2009 sales growth forecast to 3% on a stregnthening dollar and weaking global economy.
Kraft said its second-quarter net income rose 3.5% to $732 million while revenue rose 21% to $11.2 billion. The company's sales volume fell just 1% despite a 7% increase in prices.
Kraft Foods posted a 13% drop in first-quarter net income as the surging cost of inputs such as dairy and wheat cut into margins despite price increases.
Carl Icahn has taken a stake in Kraft Foods Inc., according to a media report. The size of Icahn's stake and the amount of time he has held Kraft shares is not clear.
Activist investor Nelson Peltz's fund has acquired a 3 percent stake in Kraft Foods Inc. and wants the company to jettison unsuccessful brands and find better uses for its cash.
Altria Group, Inc announced that it has completed the spin-off of Kraft Foods Inc. to Altria Group, Inc's shareholders. Altria Group, Inc distributed approximately 88.9% of Kraft's outstanding shares owned by Altria Group, Inc to Altria Group, Inc's shareholders.