Analysts expect US food and dairy processor Dean Foods to be taken over after it issued a third quarter profits warning and hired Goldman Sachs to explore its "strategic and financial alternatives". The company said higher costs for fuel and raw materials, necessary investment in its refrigerated products division and lacklustre milk and pickles sales meant full year earnings would be closer to $2.50-$2.55 per share, well below Wall Street estimates of $3.02. Chief financial officer Barbara Klein would not comment but the stock rocketed 17% on takeover speculation after the warning. Dean Foods is the number two US milk and dairy processor after Suiza. Dean Foods produces own label and branded milk, dairy products, speciality foods (pickles, dressings, sauces, creamers) to retailers throughout the US and Mexico, including Wal-Mart and Kmart. Full year sales for 2000 topped $4bn. Italian firm Parmalat has been suggested as a possible buyer. , {{NEWS }}