PITTSBURGH (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income dropped 22 percent on productivity-related charges, but its adjusted results beat analysts' estimates.
The world's biggest ketchup maker also announced that it is raising its annual dividend by 7.3 percent to $2.06 per share.
Heinz earned $175.3 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $223.9 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.
Stripping out the charges of 27 cents per share, earnings were 81 cents per share.
The performance topped the 79 cents per share that analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted.
For the period ended April 29, revenue climbed 6 percent to $3.05 billion from $2.89 billion. But the results missed Wall Street's forecast of $3.07 billion.
Heinz's stock fell 86 cents to $53 in premarket trading.
The company reported strong sales in emerging markets and increased global ketchup sales. Heinz also said that sales of its top 15 brands, which include Master, ABC, Complan and its namesake, rose 7.7 percent.
North American consumer products sales dipped 2.2 percent, while U.S. food-service sales rose 3.5 percent. Sales for Europe increased 1.2 percent, while the Asia Pacific region posted a 4 percent gain. Sales for the remaining regions more than doubled on strength in Latin America and the Middle East.
Heinz's revenue results also benefited from two extra shipping days in the current quarter.
The Pittsburgh company's full-year net income fell 7 percent to $923.2 million, or $2.85 per share, from $989.5 million, or $3.06 per share, in the previous year.
Adjusted earnings were $3.35 per share.
Annual revenue increased 9 percent to $11.65 billion from $10.71 billion.
Going forward, Heinz foresees fiscal 2013 earnings per share rising 5 percent to 8 percent, excluding special items. This would put earnings between $3.52 and $3.62 per share.
Analysts expect full-year earnings of $3.59 per share.
The company is projecting an earnings-per-share increase of 6 percent to 9 percent over the next three to five years.
Heinz said it has increased its annual dividend by 91 percent since fiscal 2004. The company will boost its quarterly dividend to 51.5 cents per share from 48 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on July 10 to shareholders of record on June 24.