Packaged foods giant H.J. Heinz Company ( HNZ ) on Thursday said its fiscal fourth quarter profit rose 16% from last year and raised its quarterly dividend payout by almost 7%.
The Pittsburgh-based company reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $223.86 million, or 69 cents per share, compared with $192.37, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Sales rose 6% from last year to $2.89 billion.
On average, Wall Street analysts expected a higher profit of 72 cents per share, albeit on lower revenue of $2.87 billion.
Looking ahead, the company forecast full-year 2012 profits to range from $3.24 to $3.32 per share, excluding items, while analysts expect $3.33 per share for the year.
HNZ also said it would boosted its quarterly dividend payout from 45 cents to 48 cents per share, a 6.7% increase. The new dividend will be payable July 10 to shareholders of record as of June 24.
Heinz shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Thursday.
The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of H.J. Heinz ( HNZ ) since Jan.24, 2009, when the stock was trading at $35.06. The company will now have a 3.60% dividend yield, based on the higher dividend payout and last night's closing stock price of $53.39.
H.J. Heinz Company ( HNZ ) is a "Recommended" dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
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