Beam Inc quarter earnings gives hope of better 2013 as bourbon remains strong
On a net basis, the maker of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Knob Creek bourbons said on Friday that earnings were $126.3 million, or 79 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. It earned $88.5 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, earnings fell 3 percent to 67 cents per share, due to a 20 percent increase in advertising spending during the key holiday season.
On that basis, analysts, on average, were expecting 66 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Beam, which ended its first full year as a standalone drinks company, cited a bigger-than-expected lift from last year's purchase of Pinnacle vodka and higher-than-expected sales of bourbon, which has been gaining popularity in recent years.
Overall net sales rose 11 percent to $709.1 million.
Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, acquisitions and divestitures, sales rose 5 percent, fueled by gains of 8 percent in North America and 4 percent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa segment.
Sales in the Asia Pacific/South America segment fell 2 percent, hurt by lower results in India where the company is "repositioning its business" after a report of possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Beam said in November it was investigating allegations of financial lapses at its Indian operations and that corrective actions had been taken. It said at the time its moves could
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