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Kraft quarterly results could make a case to Cadbury

Kraft Foods Inc will need to show progress in cutting costs and improving organic revenue when it reports earnings on Tuesday, in a bid to convince Cadbury shareholders it is a viable deal partner.

Lower commodity prices and cost controls helped other consumer-staples companies beat analyst estimates in recent weeks, including Kellogg Co, Clorox Co and General Mills Inc. They also came in slightly ahead of muted revenue expectations.

If that trend holds for Kraft - which is due to present a formal takeover bid for UK confectioner Cadbury by November 9 - it could boost the company's shares and make for a more compelling offer.

“The trend has been for food companies across the board to beat the number,” Edward Jones analyst Matt Arnold said. “I haven't seen many companies in consumers staples post a miss lately.”

Kraft is likely to stick by its initial cash and stock proposal to Cadbury shareholders that was disclosed on September 7, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

That deal was valued at 745 pence a share, or 10.2 billion British pounds ($16.7 billion), at the time. The proposed bid was worth 733.4 pence, or 10.06 billion pounds ($16.5 billion) Monday afternoon based on the decline in Kraft shares. (Reuters)