Kraft Foods boosts its full-year earnings outlook

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NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Kraft Foods, engaged in a hostile takeover bid for candy maker Cadbury, is boosting its full-year profit outlook after logging strong operating gains, as it spent more on marketing than in the prior year.

The food company, whose products include Maxwell House coffee and its namesake cheese, now anticipates 2009 earnings of at least $2 per share, compared with a prior forecast for a profit of at least $1.97 per share.

Analysts expect full-year earnings of $2 per share.

On Tuesday, Cadbury made its case against Kraft’s $16.5 billion bid, saying its annual results would top estimates. The British company also said it will boost dividend payments by 10 percent.

Shares of Northfield, Ill. Kraft Foods Inc. rose 61 cents to $29.90 in premarket trading.