Kraft Profit Falls, Sales Disappoint

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) Tuesday reported a drop in quarterly earnings due to a loss on the sale of its Life Savers and Altoids candy business.

Higher costs for energy, packaging and commodities such as coffee and nuts also pressured profits, and sales came in below analysts' estimates.

But earnings from continuing operations rose, helped by higher prices and lower restructuring costs.

The maker of Oreo cookies (search), Kraft cheese and a host of other packaged foods posted profit of $472 million, or 28 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with $698 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company posted a loss of $297 million, or 17 cents a share, on the sale of the candy business to gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (WWY).

Excluding the loss, as well as 2 cents a share in restructuring costs, earnings were 47 cents a share. Analysts on average forecast 48 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates, though some do not eliminate the restructuring costs from their earnings forecasts.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $8.33 billion, but was only 1.3 percent higher when the weaker dollar is factored out. Analysts on average forecast revenue of $8.45 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.