Kraft Foods, Inc., An American Made, Globally Inspired

If you order a Big Mac or hamburger with cheese at any of your favorite restaurants, anywhere in the US, then chances are, your cheese is made by Kraft Foods, Inc., (NYSE: KFT), (“Kraft Foods”), the largest branded food and beverage company in the United States and the world’s second largest, only behind Nestlé, based on 2000 pro forma revenue. The company’s fiscal year is December, and as of January 21, 2009, according to the company’s web site, Kraft.com, it has approximately 103,000 employees worldwide and more than 180 manufacturing and processing facilities worldwide.

Based in Northfield, Illinois, Kraft Foods, Inc’s North America unit makes the world’s largest cheese brand (Kraft), owns the cookie and cracker business (Nabisco) and makes the US’s most favorite, Oreos. Its brand products are distributed worldwide through its international business unit. Kraft Foods has one of the world’s most recognizable core brands which are sold in more than 140 countries, and according to A.C. Nielsen, are enjoyed in 99.6% of the households in the United States.

The company’s brands and businesses including; Oscar Mayer, Kraft, Philadelphia, Maxwell House, Nabisco, Oreo, Jacobs, Milka, and LU brands, which together have quarterly revenues of nearly $10 billion (MSN Money). The company was founded in 1767 and in 1988, Kraft, Inc (http://www.kraft.com) became a part of Altria Group, previously known as Philip Morris Companies Inc., which purchased Kraft for $12.9 billion, and operated it as a wholly-own subsidiary until 2007 when it was spun off, amid that the Altria’s tobacco lawsuits, a result of alleged second hand smoke would tarnish Kraft’s image, in terms of consumers.

Prior to going public, Kraft Foods generated 2000 pro forma revenue of $34.7 billion and 2000 pro forma earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization of $6.3 billion. The company filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its long awaited and most anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO) on March 13, 2001, and went public on June 10, 2001, traded on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol; KFT. Its initial proposed stock price was set at $30.00 to $31.00, but the actual offer price was $31.00. Its stock price on the first day of trading was $31.00, and closed at $31.25 at the market closing time, a net gain of 25 cents. The company’s shares offered at IPO was 280 million shares, with an offering amount of $8.7 billion, making it one of the largest IPO offering, ranked only second behind 2001’s $10 billion-plus offering of stock in AT&T Wireless, which by far, was the richest U.S. initial public offering ever.

The offering price valued Kraft Foods at about $53.8 billion, and as of today, January 21, 2009, 5:00 PM EST, according to Yahoo! Finance, Kraft Foods market capitalization is value at $41.62 billion, a 22.64% drop since its IPO.

“The 280,000,000 Class A shares offered in the IPO represent 16.1% of the combined total of 1,735,000,000 Class A and Class B shares outstanding immediately after the offering. Net proceeds of the offering of approximately $8.4 billion will be used to repay a portion of Kraft’s long-term notes payable to Philip Morris” (AllBusiness.com).  “We will use the net proceeds from this offering to retire a portion of an $11.0 billion 7.75% note payable to Philip Morris, due in December 2002, incurred in connection with the Nabisco acquisition” (Edgar Online).

The company’s shares outstanding at IPO were 555 million, but its post IPO offering were 1,735 billion shares. Today, January 21, 2009, Kraft Foods stock closed at $28.33, its highest traded price was on May 28, 2002, at $43.01, that’s a drop of 65.56% since May 28, 2002, and its lowest trading since it went public was when it closed at $26.56 on November 17, 2008.

“Kraft Foods’ IPO was underwritten by several underwriters including; Credit Suisse First Boston, Salomon Smith Barney, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, UBS Warburg LLC, BNP Paribas Group, HSBC Securities, Inc., Lehman Brothers Incorporated, Blaylock & Partners, L.P., Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Prudential Securities, Inc., Ramirez & Co., Inc., Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., and Utendahl Capital Partners, L.P” (Edgar Online).

On November 15, 2007, Kraft Foods agreed to merge its Post cereals business into Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., and on June 25, 2008, “Kraft commenced its exchange offer related to the split-off transaction of its Post cereals business. Kraft will provide indicative calculated per share values and exchange ratios for each of the trading days that the exchange offer is open. The final exchange ratio will be calculated using the volume weighted average stock prices (VWAP) of Kraft and Ralcorp on July 30, July 31 and August 1, 2008, and will be announced by 4:30 pm ET on August 1. The exchange offer will expire at 8:00 am ET on August 4, 2008, unless extended” (Edgar Online).

The lowest drop in its stock price on November 17, 2008, was probably the result of its Post merge with Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. According to its balance sheet for the quarter ended on September 30, 2008; the company had a cash and cash equivalents of $737 million, while its total current assets are capped at $11.3 billion, total assets of $66.9 billion. Its total current liabilities are $10.3 billion, with total liabilities of $40.5 billion. The net tangible assets are (-$15.7 billion), while its long term debts are $18.9 billion. The company’s account payable is $6.09 billion. (Yahoo! Finance).

Today, amid the current US economic crisis and the recession, Kraft Foods, Inc. is still strong, its stock performance is relatively steady, part of the Dow 30, and is one of the world’s most actively traded companies on Wall Street.

Disclosure

I am currently not an investor nor do I have an immediate investment interest in Kraft Foods, Inc. I have not been compensated by anyone, in any way, shape or form, to write and publish this article anywhere.
 
References

MSN Money. “Kraft Foods Inc”.  IPO Center. Retrieved on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, from http://premium.hoovers.com/global/msn/factsheet.xhtml?ID=103392.

US Security and Exchange Commission. Edgar Online. Retrieved on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, from http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html.

Yahoo! Finance. Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT). Retrieved on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, from http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=KFT.

Kraft, Inc. Official Corporate Web site. Investor Center. Retrieved on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, from http://www.kraft.com/default.htm.

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The Most, Very Unique Invention Idea to Make Billions, Only for You?

In today’s competitive global economy, it’s all about finding your niche’. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Google (Page & Brin), and many other entrepreneurs have magnificently excelled at doing this very same thing, they found their niche’, which they have and continue to exploit while making tons of money. You can also find your niche and proprietarily develop it, market it globally, and make a fortune.

However, in this age, it’s nearly impossible for you to come up with a completely unique invention to capitalize on it. Because, nearly every unique invention that you could come up with, has already been invented by someone else.

Here is the best news for you, but only if you hurry and grab this idea now. This was an idea proposed by my Evolutionary Biology professor, Dr. Taylor, at the Ohio State University.

The idea is; most of us know that most amphibians, such as Frogs, lay their unshelled eggs in shallow water. Their mating process is unique too; the male frog grabs the female frog from behind, and then the female frog squirts out the eggs, lots of them, and all the eggs are sprouted in the water, no nest, just wrapped up in a clear jelly like liquid that keeps the eggs together.

Since their eggs remain alone, unguarded and unprotected, they usually become a meal for most other amphibians. The result is the decrease in their species growth, for such as frogs and other amphibians, which may eventually extinct, as their population continue to evaporate due to slow reproduction.

Now, imagine if you come up with a new invention, an invention that can help amphibians lay their eggs better, protect them, and eventually cause their reproduction to increase. Not only that you’ll make gazillions, but you will also help save most of the amphibian species.

Well, hurry up, and grab this new great invention idea. And when you successfully develop it, please don’t forget me.

The Daring Power of Honesty

Every one of us, anywhere, are all in need of something, we are all competing for resources, to make a living, to survive, and whatever it is that we may want, we can only get it from each other, if we are completely straight forward with one another.

In order to successfully make it in this competitive market, in this crowded global economy, where everyone is doing everything he or she best can to better him or herself in order to best compete, there is only one thing you need to do to effectively get what you want; and that’s to gain the trust of everyone, known or unknown to you. And you can only gain their trust, if people get to know you, and the best thing to do for people to get to know you, is to properly introduce yourself to them, let them get to know you first, and be honest and straight forward with them. Your resume or link to your blog or web profile is the first best start for anyone to get to know you best. You don’t need to have a long resume or years of experience in your specialty, all you need is charisma, straightforwardness, and passion for what you want to do, and with that, you can almost get whatever you want from anyone.

Barrack Obama spent a few years in Chicago as a community organizer, then the state senate, and the only people who knew him then were the people of Chicago and the surrounding areas, but most of us elsewhere only came to get to know him the first time, when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. When he stepped and spoke on that podium, on that stage, he displayed something that most of us are lacking; passion, enthusiasm, courage to dare, straightforwardness, and most of all, charisma and ambition. He looked very young then, but he was full of charismatic and passion. He spoke daringly the truth, he let people know who he is and what he stands for, and what he wants and hopes for, and most people listened. And look where he is now four years later.

No matter where you go, no matter whom you speak to or ask for anything, if they can look at you, and gain your trust based on your pitch, based on your personal information, based on your honesty, then you can almost have anyone listen to you and do whatever you want them to do. But if you come out like some schmuck from somewhere, lacking any of the stated above, then you can’t get anything from anyone, unless from the stupid ones, and there’re no more stupid ones out there.

Look, we all make mistakes, but the best education is not to keep doing the same mistakes over and over. So, don’t dwell on the mistakes you’ve made in the past, move on, do what you can so you don’t keep making the same mistake, and get ready, and go out there and make it happen.  Be honest, tell the truth, and everyone will eventually buy whatever you are selling. You can do it; you can get whatever you want from anyone, anywhere.

What Every Organism Wants: Sexual Selection

Yes, the title is an indicative to capture your attention. And, since you’all seem so tired and perhaps stressed out, well, we are now in “officially” a recession. Perhaps, an economic depression is next, but not soon or may be never, I hope.

So, I wanted to arouse your attention for a minute and entertain your curiosity. The following may rather be out of the box discussion, but we may as well have an interesting discussion, other than focusing on the news about job loss, layoffs, rise of unemployment, etc. So here it is.

What Every Organism Wants: Sexual Selection

This week, in my biological evolution and speciation class, we had an interesting discussion, a lecture from my professor, Dr. Taylor at Ohio State University, focusing on sexual selection. The subject was about mate choice between males and females for reproduction.

The question that Dr. Taylor posed was: “If sexual preference was not biological but a choice, then how did you make your choice?”

Now my question is this; if you are a man, did you hop from one man to the next, different men each time, any number of times, and then to a woman, different women each time, any number of times, testing your sexual preference?

Likewise, if you are woman, did you also hop from one woman to the next, different women any number of times, and then to a man, different men each time, any number of times to test and decide your sexual preference?

So, how did you decide your sexual preference?

$1 Million for the Next Biggest Venture

I have started working on a new venture, poised to be the Next Best and Biggest in the world; and I am putting up $1 million of my own money in this venture. But to kick it off, I just need to find a reliable, hardworking, determined, and very trustworthy individual to join me as my partner. My business plan calls for a 50/50 as long as you, as my partner, know the business and are willing to do everything it takes, to make this venture a great success.

This is an exciting venture in the farming sector. It’s to be one of its kind in the world; to be only focused on breeding Mules. What’s a mule, you asked yourself? A mule is a cross-breed between a donkey stallion (called a jack) and a horse mare. I have already identified where we can procure/acquire/buy our initial stock of mules; both males and females, starting out with  10,000 female mules and 500 male mules, and based on my projections, we should have produced over 500,000 Mules from just these 10,000 within 5 years.

The meat from Mules is considered a delicacy in France and in some other countries, but our primary target market to sell our mules’ meat is France. I have not yet identified the location to set up this farm, but you, as my new partner, the first thing I’d like for you to do is to scour out some locations and identify the best location to set up our Mule farm, and then baaang, we have our new venture set up. We, as partners, don’t have to actually run the business, we will hire and appoint experienced managers to run the operations, and we just have to go by the farm at least once or twice a week to check out the operation.

This venture is ready to go, so come on, jump on board. No capital contribution is needed from you, as a partner; as long as you have a high school diploma and that you must love animals and can at least ride a horse, that’s the requirements to become my partner in this venture.

And since you’ve read this far, I just want to thank you very much for your interest in my new venture and my April fool’s joke.

Double-Standard; Still the Surprisingly Insanity Factor

It’s been noted that even in this day and time, certain people of color and perhaps moreover, gender and or religion, still feel like they still have to work twice as hard as their counterparts, just to prove themselves that they are actually just as good as their counterparts and are just as worth of doing something good and or even better just as their counterparts.

I am doing a research for my research project on “double standard tactical usage”, especially in the world of business, sports, academia or whatever else the situation might be unique, and I want to hear some opinions from those while they are trying to do something better to achieving and fulfilling their dreams, goals and wishes in life, that they feel mistreated, left out, or simply being passed out by either not given an opportunity, promotion or a fair play, because they believe it is because of their race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

If you are one of these and especially if you are an entrepreneur, athlete, politician, or whatever else it is that you are, or trying to do, and in your conquest to realizing your dream and potential, that you’ve experienced some kind of perhaps discrimination or double standard tactics, whereby you feel like you’ve been particularly left out and have not been given a fair chance or an opportunity simply because you believe it is based on your color, race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, creed or sexual orientation, I’d like to hear from you with your particulars, story and your mistreated experience by anyone, anywhere within the last 10 years.

Please email me with your details and particulars; just your first name, city, state (if in US), country, race, gender, and age at research (at) rentersq.com. If necessary, I may need to talk to you or email you back to learn more about your case and situation.

I need at least 1,500 respondents, so please let me hear from you right now.

The Housing Market Crunch, Who’s Next?

CNNMoney.com today reports the current pending lawsuit of $20 billion against Citi for helping Enron to manufacture its financial statements.

After the fall of Enron, there were other several companies such as MCI, Global Crossing, Andersen, etc., that followed suit; but nowadays with the current housing market crunch, who’s possibly going to eat the dust?

Countrywide, Fannie Mae, etc., these companies and others will likely survive the current housing market crisis, and will likely heal within the next 2-3 years.

However, not only the current housing market crunch is affecting mortgage brokers and underwriters, it has also affected home improvement retail stores and home furnishing businesses.

And, those who can afford it are poised to cash in big time in the near future as they currently are the likely majority buyers of most homes at the most cheapest price and they will just sit on them until the market recovers.