Kraft Heinz shares pop on increased quarterly dividend, earnings beat

Kraft and Heinz products.
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Kraft and Heinz products.

Shares of Kraft Heinz rose as much as 4.5 percent after the bell on Thursday after the company increased its quarterly dividend and posted earnings that beat analysts' expectations for the second-quarter.

The food producer, created when Kraft Foods Group merged with H.J. Heinz in July last year, boosted its quarterly dividend by 4.3 percent to 60 cents per share.

In addition, the company reported earnings of 85 cents per share ex-items on $6.79 billion in revenue, topping and meeting analyst forecasts of 72 cents a share and $6.79 billion in revenue.

"By implementing our integration program and improving our performance in the marketplace, we continued to drive results in the second quarter," Bernardo Hees, CEO of Kraft Heinz, said in a statement. "However, to sustain our momentum, we must remain focused on profitable growth, innovations to meet consumer needs in a challenging environment, and improving our operations. We're off to a good start, but there is still much work to be done."

Quarterly profit quadrupled, helped by aggressive cost-cutting measures and low commodity costs, according to Reuters. However, the company cited currency exchange rates and a higher tax rate versus the prior-year period as headwinds that affected second-quarter gains.

In particular, pro-forma net sales fell 4.7 percent to $6.79 billion, in-line with the average analyst estimate.

Shares of the company are up almost 18 percent year to date.