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Oreo-maker Mondelez calls for slower growth this year

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Global snacks giant Mondelez International Inc. late Tuesday called for slower growth this year, hedging that its outlook comes amid “greater-than-usual volatility as a result of geopolitical uncertainty.”

Mondelez
MDLZ,
+0.82%

said it expects net revenue growth between 3% and 5% for 2024; the maker of Oreos, Ritz crackers and other popular snack and candy brands grew slightly more than 14% last year.

Mondelez earned $950 million, or 70 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $585 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 84 cents a share, surpassing FactSet expectations of adjusted EPS of 78 cents.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 7% to $9.31 billion, in line with the FactSet consensus.

Last year, Mondelez’s growth “was balanced across developed and emerging markets, with robust performance in all regions,” Chief Executive Dirk Van de Put said in a statement.

This year, the company continues to focus “on strong execution, supported by a significant increase in investments behind our brands, capabilities and talent,” the executive said.

“We remain confident that we are well-positioned for sustainable top- and bottom-line growth in the years ahead,” the CEO said.

Ahead of Tuesday’s earnings, analysts at Jefferies said that tracked sales in Europe looked strong, and retail sales in North America hinted that Mondelez remained “amongst best performers in large-cap food.”

Jefferies has a buy rating on Mondelez’s stock and a price target of $85, representing about 11% upside over Tuesday’s prices.

Shares of Mondelez dropped 4% in the extended session Tuesday, after ending the regular trading day up 0.8%. The stock is up 17% in the past 12 months, compared with gains of about 23% for the S&P 500 index
SPX.

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