Kellogg Co topped analyst forecasts for first-quarter sales and profit on Thursday as the maker of Corn Flakes cereal earned more from its health-focused snack brands.
Shares of Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg rose 4.1 percent to $59.00 in premarket trading on Thursday after the results.
To better serve consumers who are ditching sugary foods including popular breakfast cereals, Kellogg has been acquiring companies that make healthier foods, such as protein bar maker RXBAR and Brazilian snack group Parati.
Items made by RXBAR and Parati helped Kellogg's sales rise 4.7 percent to $3.40 billion in the three months ended March 31.
Analysts on average had estimated sales of $3.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Kellogg said net income rose to $444 million or $1.27 per share in the first quarter of 2018, from $266 million or 75 cents per share a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Kellogg earned $1.23 per share, ahead of analysts' expectations of $1.08.
"We delivered a strong first quarter,” commented Steve Cahillane, Kellogg's chairman and CEO. “Net sales, operating profit, and earnings per share all achieved year-on-year growth, keeping us well on pace for our full-year targets."
Callihane added that the group made "visible progress" on several key elements of its growth plan, including "accelerated growth in frozen foods and Pringles, stabilising cereal in developed international cereal markets, and realising underlying improvement in US Snacks following our transition out of Direct Store Delivery distribution."