Headlines this morning include earnings from Kraft, Campbell Soup and Burger King, Icahn taking a big stake in Herbalife and the SEC looking into suspicious trading in Heinz before the recent deal announcement.
Packaged foods company Kraft Foods (KRFT) expects adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 57 cents, easily beating the 23 cents analysts expected. On a GAAP basis, the company expects to earn 15 cents per share. The company is scheduled to report earnings on March 29.
Activist investor Carl Icahn now owns 14 million shares, or 13% of Herbalife (HLF) according to recent regulatory filings. Icahn's investment puts him in direct opposition to a well-publicized short position held by hedge-fund manager William Ackman. The two recently argued on CNBC. Icahn plans to meet with the company's management to discuss plans to “enhance shareholder value.”
On the heels of yesterday's announcement that ketchup company Heinz (HNZ) would be taken private by 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into suspicious trades in the company's stock a day before the merger was announced. Regulators seem to be particularly interested in a spike in options volume, which spiked a day before the deal was publicized.
Campbell Soup (CPB) reported adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share, topping estimates for 66 cents. Net sales during the quarter were $2.33 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $2.32 billion. The company also confirmed its previous guidance for $2.51 to $2.57 per share on 10 to 12 percent sales growth.
Burger Kind (BKW) reported earnings of 14 cents per share, or 23 cents on an adjusted basis. Revenue was $404.5 million. Analysts had expected the company to earn 15 cents on revenue of $375 million. Same-store sales rose by 2.7% during the quarter.