U.S. News

Kraft Replaces Sabre In S&P 500, Kodak In S&P 100


Kraft Foods, the largest North American food maker, will join the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index after the close of trading on March 30.

Altria Group, whose Philip Morris business makes Marlboro cigarettes, is divesting its 88.9% stake in Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft. Shareholders of Altria will receive 0.692024 of a Kraft share for each Altria share they own.

Kraft products include Oreo cookies, Maxwell House coffee and its namesake macaroni and cheese, among others.

Kraft is replacing Sabre Holdings , the owner of the Travelocity hotel and flight-booking Web site, in the S&P 500. Sabre is being acquired by private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Silver Late Partners for $4.45 billion.

Separately, Kraft will replace Eastman Kodak . in the Standard & Poor's 100 index of major, blue-chip companies.

S&P said Eastman Kodak has a market capitalization of about $6.8 billion, ranking 100th in that index. Kraft's market value is about $52.2 billion.

The change comes nearly three years after Kodak ended a nearly 74-year run in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Kodak expects this year to complete an overhaul that began in 2004, and will result in the loss of as many as 30,000 jobs. The company has been shifting its focus to digital products as demand falls for film, traditionally its main revenue source.

Shares of companies joining the S&P 500 often rise because many investors try to track the index and are required to buy shares of companies that enter it. Kraft's inclusion in the index had been widely expected. Its shares closed Thursday up 50 cents at $31.85, and rose as high as $32.34 after the S&P announcement.