(By Balachander) Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) reported a rise in quarterly profits as sales grew in double digits, and the ready-to-eat cereal food maker backed its 2012 outlook.
Earnings were $296 million or $0.82 per share for the third quarter, up from $290 million or $0.80 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Net sales rose 12.4 percent to $3.72 billion. Costs of goods sold increased 16 percent to $2.28 billion, the company said.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings of $0.80 per share on revenue of $3.69 billion.
Selling, general and administrative expense rose 8.7 percent.
In May, Kellogg completed purchase of Pringles potato chips business from Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) in a $2.695 billion all-cash transaction. The Pringles acquisition makes Kellogg the world's second-largest savory snacks company with $1.5 billion in sales across more than 140 countries.
For the full year, Kellogg reaffirmed its guidance for internal net sales growth of between 2 percent and 3 percent. The company still expects earnings per share in the range of $3.18 to $3.30 for 2012, while Wall Street analysts expect $3.31, with estimates ranging from $3.21 to $3.38.
The company's brands include Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies.
Kellogg ended Wednesday's regular trading session at $52.32. The stock has been trading the 52-week range between $46.33 and $55.11.