* Raises earnings goal to $1.55-$1.60/share from $1.52-$1.57
* Q1 revenue $8.74 bln vs Wall Street estimate of $8.68 bln
* Shares up 4 pct since Trian last month reported stake
* Mondelez CEO declines comment on shareholder moves
By Martinne Geller
May 7 Packaged foods maker Mondelez
International Inc posted slightly better-than-expected
quarterly results on Tuesday and raised its full-year earnings
forecast due to a benefit from a tax item, but said it was
keeping some of that benefit in reserve to guard against future
Quarterly revenue beat Wall Street estimates for the first
time since Mondelez separated last year from Kraft Foods Group
Inc and took with it snacks like Oreo cookies and
Cadbury chocolate and the international business of Maxwell
Still, revenue growth was below the company's long-term
target, hurt by lower coffee prices, capacity constraints and
the continued struggle of its gum business, and Chief Executive
Irene Rosenfeld said she was "clearly not satisfied." Mondelez
is seeking growth by reinvesting in emerging markets - where it
gets 40 percent of its revenue - and by boosting brand-building,
production capacity and distribution.
Mondelez shares fell 21 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $31.20 in
after-hours trade. Through Tuesday's close they have gained 4
percent since last month when Trian Fund Management reported
stakes in Mondelez and PepsiCo Inc. That prompted
speculation that Trian's Nelson Peltz would push them to merge
given his role in Kraft's purchase of Cadbury and subsequent
In an interview on Tuesday, Rosenfeld declined to comment on
Peltz or any other shareholder, which, as of Dec. 31, also
included Southeastern Asset Management and Bill Ackman's
Pershing Square Capital Management.
Ackman is leading campaigns involving J.C. Penney Co Inc
and Herbalife, while Southeastern is talking
about teaming up with Carl Icahn to nominate directors at Dell
, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"We certainly listen to all of our shareholders," Rosenfeld
told Reuters, without saying whether she has recently met with
any of them.
COFFEE PRICES, GUM
Weighing on the top line was coffee prices, which Mondelez
lowered after a decline in the cost of the raw commodity, and
production capacity constraints in India that prevented it from
meeting the full demand for its chocolates. In addition, revenue
for gum, which includes brands like Trident and Stride, fell at
a "high teens" percentage rate in developed markets, the company
But after pruning slower-selling gum products and refocusing
on more successful products, the company is seeing "green
shoots" in its U.S. gum business, Rosenfeld said. In April, it
gained 2 percentage points of market share, she said.
In the first quarter, net income was $568 million, or 32
cents per share. That was down from $813 million, or 46 cents
per share, a year earlier, before the company spun off its
stable of mature North American grocery brands into Kraft Foods.
Excluding items, earnings were 34 cents per share, topping
analysts' average estimate by a penny, according to Thomson
Revenue rose nearly 1 percent to $8.74 billion, north of
Wall Street's estimate of $8.68 billion.
Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of
acquisitions, divestitures and other one-time issues, rose 3.8
percent in the quarter, below the company's long-term target of
5 to 7 percent growth.
Mondelez stood by its 2013 goal for revenue growth at the
low end of its long-term growth target, and raised its earnings
goal to $1.55 to $1.60 per share from a prior forecast of $1.52
to $1.57 per share.
The 3 cent increase is due to a 7 cent-per-share tax
benefit. The company said it was holding the other half of the
benefit "in reserve ... since it's still early in the year and
considering the volatility in many of our markets."