Kellanova, WK Kellogg shares slump on first day after spinoff

Kellanova, WK Kellogg shares slump on first day after spinoff

Kellogg's cold cereal products are pictured in a market in New York

Kellogg’s cold cereal products are pictured in a market after Kellogg Company announced it would split. New York, U.S., June 21, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Shares of Kellanova (K.N) fell more than 7% on Monday after the packaged food giant, previously known as Kellogg Company, completed the spinoff of its North American cereal business into a new standalone entity called WK Kellogg Co (KLG.N).

Under the separation agreement, Kellanova shareholders received one share of WK Kellogg Co common stock for every four shares of Kellanova stock held as of September 21, a statement said.

Kellanova shares fell to as low as $51.83, down 7.2%, after opening at $55.70, while WK Kellogg Co dropped by more than 11% and was last at $13.79. Both companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are trading for the first time under their new corporate names.

Kellanova will retain its place on the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) index, while WK Kellogg Co shares will join the S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SPCY) on Tuesday, before market open.

“What we are seeing today with the share declines in Kellanova and WK Kellogg is a jigsaw puzzle problem; in other words, the pieces just don’t fit in many institutional and strategic portfolios,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors in California.

Kellanova had unveiled a plan last year to split itself into three separate companies focused on snacks, North American cereals, and its plant-based meat business.

Kellanova expects to generate up to $13.6 billion in annual sales from its snack brands, including Pringles, Cheez-It, Pop-Tarts. Earlier in February, the company announced that it would keep in house its plant-based business, known for its MorningStar Farms brand.

WK Kellogg Co’s cereal brands, including Kellogg’s, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies, is expected to generate annual sales of about $2.7 billion.

Multiple analysts, including from Jefferies and Piper Sandler cut their price target for Kellanova’s stock citing its dour sales outlook and low-margin business. The median price target for the 18 analysts covering Kellanova’s stock is $68.50 and their average recommendation is “hold”, according to LSEG data.

“We expect to see near-term volatility in the shares of both companies,” said CFRA Research’s Arun Sundaram in a statement. “Investors will be making key decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months. Do they want to stay invested in both companies, allocate more of their investment to one of the two companies, or divest from both?”

(This story has been refiled to change ‘WK Kellogg Company’ to ‘WK Kellogg Co’ throughout)

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York and Granth Vanaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Lance Tupper and Christina Fincher

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Chibuike reports on mostly large U.S.-based private equity firms, including Blackstone, KKR, Carlyle, and Apollo. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, and holds master’s degrees in journalism from New York University and Edinburgh Napier University.
Contact: 332-999-6154

Granth reports on the North American Consumer and Retail sector, covering a broad range of companies from consumer packaged goods and restaurants to department stores and apparel retailers. Granth’s work on the website usually appears on the Retail & Consumer page of Reuters Business section. He holds a post-graduate degree in international relations and area studies and has previously worked as a research analyst.

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