Mondelez profit beats Street; share buyback amount raised

(Reuters) - Mondelez International Inc <MDLZ.O>, the maker of Cadbury chocolate, reported quarterly earnings that topped Wall Street views even while falling from a year earlier and dramatically raised its share buyback authorization on Wednesday.

The company said it is now authorized to buy back up to $6 billion of its stock through 2016, up from $1.2 billion previously. It expects to purchase $1 billion to $2 billion worth of stock annually.

The company, which also makes Oreo cookies, reported a 40 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, saying it was boosting investments in advertising and to expand its distribution network in emerging markets.

Net income was $616 million, or 34 cents per share, in the second quarter, down from $1.03 billion, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items including costs related to last year's spin-off of Kraft Foods Group Inc <KRFT.O>, earnings were 37 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 34 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also raised its dividend by 8 percent.

Mondelez shares rose 2 percent to $31.98 in after-hours trade from a close at $31.26 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)