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The board of directors of Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ - Analyst Report) recently authorized the repurchase of shares worth $1.2 billion or 40 million shares, whichever is less. The duration of the share repurchase program is three years. 

Mondelez International focuses on the global food and snacks business of the erstwhile Kraft Foods. It markets products in fast growing food categories like chocolates, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, which includes several popular brands like TANG, Oreo, Cadbury. On Oct 1, erstwhile Kraft Foods spun off its North American grocery business into a separate independent company, Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (KRFT - Analyst Report).

The authorization of the share repurchase program followed the company’s declaration to pay a cash dividend of 13 cents per share on Apr 15, 2013 to shareholders of record as of Apr 1, 2013. The company is able to return value to its shareholders as its liquidity position is strong with $4.48 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2012.

Mondelez International missed on both the top and bottom lines in its fourth quarter 2012 mainly due to currency headwinds. However, the company raised its financial outlook for 2013. Mondelez International raised its 2013 operating EPS guidance to the range of $1.52–$1.57 from the previous range of $1.50–$1.55 per share to reflect lower headwinds from currency.

Mondelez International carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) as the company is still in a transitional stage and it is likely to take some time to stabilize.

Some food companies that are worth a look include Flower Foods Inc. (FLO - Snapshot Report) and J&J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF - Snapshot Report) both carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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