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Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 192  
Subject: Kellogg's Special K Day Date: 4/22/2004 3:34 PM
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http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2004/mft04042211.htm?ref=btp

Kellogg's Special K Day

By Alyce Lomax
April 22, 2004

It hasn't been an easy year for many food companies, especially ones that stock the shelves with cereals, cookies, and crackers. However, Kellogg (NYSE: K) is bucking the trends -- it was as good as its word today when it delivered strong first-quarter results. Apparently, many consumers weren't willing to leggo their Eggos.

Kellogg's earnings were up 34%, to $219.8 million, or $0.53 per share. Net sales were 11% higher at $2.4 billion. However, a portion of the net sales contained a favorable foreign exchange rate component; internal sales, which don't include several such external factors, were 6.5% higher.

Still, growing sales and earnings don't hurt in a climate like this one. It hasn't been the easiest time for food mega-giants to peddle their wares. Consider Kraft's (NYSE: KFT) continued woes, which include, of course, changing consumer views on what they should fill their stomachs with.

Emphasizing choice, Kellogg has been releasing new products as well as new and improved versions, like low-carb Special K or Froot Loops with one-third less sugar. Meanwhile, many older Kellogg standbys, such as Pop-Tarts, Eggo, and Morningstar Farms, are still going strong. However, in a scenario that has hit Kraft hard as well, cookies and crackers continue to be weak, casualties of the low-carb craze.

In its conference call (transcript courtesy of CCBN StreetEvents), Kellogg said that it believes the low-carb phenomenon has peaked. Whether that fad has indeed reached its apex is an important takeaway for any investors who watch food companies, including rival General Mills (NYSE: GIS).

Although the coming year will provide difficult comparisons and Kellogg didn't boost its existing guidance, Kellogg shareholders have little to complain about. While some companies have found recent history a struggle, Kellogg's shown that a balance of stable brands and new product innovations has kept it on the table.

Looking for stable stocks that deliver dividends like Kellogg does? Mathew Emmert spends his time thinking up Foolish stocks that deliver income investing, such as one of his stock picks with a food component, Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE).


Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She's definitely no kid anymore, but every once in a while she'll still indulge in a brown sugar-and-cinnamon Pop-Tart.

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