Tags: US | Earns | Fortune | Brands

Fortune Brands Profit Skyrockets on Lower Costs

Thursday, 29 Apr 2010 12:33 PM

Fortune Brands Inc.'s first-quarter profit rose nearly 10-fold as the maker of Jim Beam bourbon, bathroom faucets and other consumer items sold more products and benefited from lower costs, beating Wall Street estimates.

The company earned $72.2 million, or 47 cents a share, in the first three months of the year. Last year during the same period, the company earned $7.4 million, or 5 cents a share.

Excluding one-time charges and gains, Fortune earned 49 cents a share.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn 38 cents per share on revenue of $1.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose nearly 13 percent to $1.63 billion.

Earlier this week, the Deerfield, Ill. company raised the low end of its full-year adjusted earnings guidance, citing its better-than-expected first-quarter performance.

The company on Thursday now expects to report 2010 profit between $2.50 and $2.80 per share. Its previous forecast was for a range of $2.30 to $2.80 per share. Analysts expect $2.78 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

CEO Bruce Carbonari said in a news release that the company is benefiting from consumers remodeling more than it expected and from retailer customers replenishing their inventories of faucets and doors.

Fortune's cabinetry brands and Moen faucets posted double-digit sales gains. New products in the company's golf division drove higher sales for Titleist golf clubs and FootJoy shoes, and the division's revenue rose nearly 2 percent to $353.6 million.

The company's Maker's Mark, Jim Beam and Sauza liquor brands gained market share. And revenue in the spirits division rose nearly 18 percent to $573.1 million.

Home and security revenue grew 15.3 percent to $698.4 million.

Shares of Fortune Brands rose $1 to $54.66 in morning trading Thursday.

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