Earnings Preview: Kraft to report 1Q results

Kraft 1Q results expected to show how it's doing as an independent company

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kraft Foods reports first-quarter results Thursday, which should give a sense of how it is adjusting to being an independent company after it split from Mondelez last year.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Kraft, based in Northfield, Ill., makes North American grocery brands such as Oscar Mayer, Miracle Whip and Velveeta. Mondelez makes international snack brands like Oreo, Cadbury and Milka. The companies split so each could grow by focusing on a more concentrated stable of products.

For 2013, the company has said it expects to post a profit of about $2.75 per share.

WHY IT MATTERS: Although many of its brands have long been household names, Kraft has said it's embracing a startup spirit following the split with Mondelez.

In particular, executives have noted its poor history of innovation when it was still a combined company and stressed that future growth will be driven by big new products. One of its major recent successes was MiO liquid drops, which can be squirted into water for instant flavor. Coca-Cola Co. and others have since introduced similar products.

In addition Kraft has said it will prune product extensions that have proliferated over the years to boost efficiency. It's also working to refresh marketing for older brands like Kool-Aid and Grey Poupon.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Kraft Foods Group Inc. was still joined with Mondelez. They split in October.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts on average expect a profit of 63 cents per share on revenue of $4.49 billion, according to FactSet.

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