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Heinz Reports Slide in Second-Quarter Profits

H.J. Heinz , which makes ketchup and other foods, said Thursday its fiscal second-quarter profit slipped 6%, reflecting a higher tax rate and the impact of discontinued operations.

The Pittsburgh-based company said profit for the three months ended Nov. 1 fell to $191.6 million, or 57 cents per share, from $203.8 million, or 60 cents per share, during the same period last year.

The results included discontinued operations and a quarterly tax rate of 34.8 percent compared with 23.8 percent during the year-ago period. It said its income from continuing operations was 59 cents a share.

Revenue climbed nearly 4% to $2.23 billion from $2.16 billion last year, helped by strong sales of its Heinz brands, Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals, Classico pasta sauces and other products.

The results fell short of Wall Street estimates of 60 cents a share on $2.25 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

Heinz raised its fiscal 2007 earnings outlook to a range of $2.35 to $2.39 a share. Earlier in November, Heinz predicted full-year earnings of about $2.35 a share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $2.35 a share.

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