Kellogg Co. reported better-than-expected quarterly results Thursday and stood by its full-year sales forecast, sending its shares up 2.6 percent.
Fourth-quarter net income was $232 million, or 64 cents per share, for the world’s largest cereal maker with brands including Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies. That was up from $189 million, or 51 per share, a year earlier.
Net sales rose 5 percent to $3.02 billion.
Kellogg stood by its 2012 forecast, which calls for net sales growth of 4 percent to 5 percent, which is above its long-term annual targets, as it expects benefits from new products and price increases.
On the bottom line, Kellogg said it expects full-year operating profit to be flat or up slightly, due to continued investments. Earnings per share are expected to grow between 2 percent and 4 percent, lifted by share buybacks and other factors.
In November, Kellogg said it was spending an additional $70 million in the second half of 2011 to improve its manufacturing after it suffered several blows including recent food safety issues.