Kraft Profit Falls but Beats Analyst Expectations

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) Monday posted lower quarterly profit, weighed down by increased marketing and commodity costs.

The maker of Oreo cookies (search), Oscar Mayer (search) lunch meats and a host of other packaged foods posted profit of $779 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with $810 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. Kraft is majority owned by Altria Group Inc. (MO).

Analysts on average forecast 45 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose 4.7 percent to $7.83 billion, helped by higher prices and the weaker dollar, which increases the value of sales overseas when they are translated to dollars on the company's income statement.

The company also said it now expects earnings for the year to be $1.56 to $1.60 a share, including 30 cents a share in restructuring and asset impairment charges and costs.

Excluding charges, the forecast is $1.86 to $1.90, compared with the average analyst estimate of $1.87 compiled by Reuters Estimates.