The H.J. Heinz Co. did not produce a big sales gain in the second quarter, but the Pittsburgh food company did beat analysts estimates with its earnings results.
Heinz this morning reported a profit of $289.4 million in the second quarter, up from $237 million in the same period a year ago.
On an earnings per share basis, the company reported 90 cents in the three months ended Oct. 28, compared to 73 cents last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been looking, on average, for 88 cents per share.
Sales rose 0.5 percent to $2.83 billion, compared to $2.81 billion a year ago. Unfavorable foreign currency produced a 2.4 percent hit to sales.
The company increased its investment in marketing in the North America Consumer Products division, which has been struggling. In the quarter, sales in that area hit $795 million, up 0.1 percent.
"We are taking significant action to return the U.S. to profitable growth," said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and CEO during a conference call with analysts.
Meanwhile, emerging markets such as Brazil have been strong and produced more than 20 percent of the company's total sales in the quarter.
Teresa F. Lindeman: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-263-2018.