updated 10/29/2008 8:48:45 AM ET 2008-10-29T12:48:45

Kraft Foods Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit more than doubled because of a one-time gain from the $2.6 billion sale of its Post cereals business.

On an ongoing basis, Kraft’s profit fell 6 percent.

But including the proceeds from the Post sale, the maker of Oscar Mayer luncheon meat and Ritz crackers said it earned $1.4 billion, or 93 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compares to profit of $596 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose nearly 20 percent to $10.46 billion.

The Post cereals sale added 57 cents to per-share profit, which was lower by 7 cents due to asset impairment and exit costs. Without these items, the company earned 44 cents per share, beating a Wall Street consensus by a penny.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 43 cents per share and revenue of $10.5 billion.

The company reiterated its estimates for full-year profit in 2008 and 2009. It said it would earn $1.88 per share this year, reflecting a lower tax rate, higher interest and less favorable foreign exchange rates. In 2009, the company predicted it would earn $2 per share.

Analysts expect Kraft to earn $1.90 per share in 2008 and $2.02 per share in 2009.

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