Warren Buffett-backed Kraft Heinz just hit a record low after dismal earnings, $1.2 billion charge

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Reuters/Rick Wilking

  • Kraft Heinz sank as much as 16% on Thursday – marking a record intraday low – after its delayed quarterly report missed sales estimates.
  • The company also highlighted $1.2 billion in business write-downs.
  • “The level of decline we experienced in the first half of this year is nothing we should find acceptable moving forward,” Kraft’s CEO said in a Thursday statement.
  • Berkshire Hathaway owns 27% of Kraft, and CEO Warren Buffett warned reporters in May that “there’s something going on” with Kraft’s finances.
  • Watch Kraft Heinz trade live here.

Kraft Heinz plummeted as much as 16% in early Thursday trading after it reporting disappointing quarterly earnings and announced $1.2 billion in charges. That marked the lowest intraday level for the stock since the company was formed in 2015.

The company reported a large decline in sales for the first half of the year. It also said in a filing Thursday that it was adjusting the value of two business units, shifting their combined values down by about $1.2 billion. It wrote down the value of its Eastern emerging markets, Brazil, United States Refrigerated, and Latin America Exports by about $744 million.

It also cut the value of “certain intangible assets” by $474 million “to reflect the markets’ perceived risk in the company’s valuation.”

“The level of decline we experienced in the first half of this year is nothing we should find acceptable moving forward. We have significant work ahead of us to set our strategic priorities and change the trajectory of our business,” Kraft CEO Miguel Patricio said in a statement.

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Berkshire Hathaway owns a 27% stake in Kraft, and CEO Warren Buffett told reporters in May that “there’s something going on” with Kraft’s finances. He added that the company was in “a dispute with its auditor,” PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The company was subpoenaed by the SEC earlier in 2019 for its accounting methods. Though Kraft said it completed an internal review of its procurement practices in June, the company still noted the SEC investigation wasn’t over.

Kraft Heinz is now down roughly 38% year-to-date.

The company has three “buy” ratings, 16 “hold” ratings, and four “sell” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $34 per share, according to Bloomberg data.

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