Kraft Foods Earnings and Revenue Beat Forecasts

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Kraft Foods Group on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations.

The food company's shares ticked higher following the news. What is Kraft's stock doing now? (Click here for the latest after-hours quote.)

Earnings excluding items were 76 cents a share, while revenue was $4.55 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 64 cents a share on $4.48 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Year-ago earnings and revenue figures weren't available as Kraft Foods split into two companies last year so that each could focus on a more narrow mix of products.

In October, Kraft Foods spun off its global snacks and candy business, including the Oreo and Cadbury brands, into a new company called Mondelez International, while its North American grocery business became Kraft Foods Group, which houses Oscar Mayer, Miracle Whip, Jell-O and Velveeta, among others.

Kraft CEO Tony Vernon said in the earnings release: "Our first-quarter results reflect strong returns on our new product innovations to date, as well as the fact that our cost savings outpaced our plans to reinvest in our brands. In the months to come, we'll execute our marketing playbook more broadly across our portfolio and we expect to see good progress in both top- and bottom-line performance for the full year."

Kraft Food faces the tougher challenge in growing its business given its focus on North America, where the packaged food industry is already mature. As such, Kraft executives are focusing on making the company leaner by pruning out less profitable brand extensions. They're also trying to refresh the images of brands such as Kool-Aid and Grey Poupon.

The company stood by its 2013 outlook calling for earnings of $2.75 per share on organic revenue growth in line with that of the North American food and beverage market.