Brown-Forman (BF.A) suffered a steeper-than-expected 8.7% drop in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday and the maker of Jack Daniels issued mostly in-line outlook for the full year.
The Louisville, Ky.-based company said it made $72.7 million, or 49 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 30, compared to a profit of $79.6 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose by 7.3% to $733 million, easily beating the Street’s view of $694.14 million.
Looking ahead, the liquor company said it sees full-year EPS of $2.98 to $3.38 and non-GAAP EPS of $3.13 to $3.53. That forecast is mostly in line with analysts’ estimates for non-GAAP EPS of $3.30.
CEO Paul Varga described the just-ended fiscal year as has having “some of the most challenging economic, consumer and competitive conditions in memory.” He added, “I congratulate our employees and partners on the resourcefulness they demonstrated to position our brands for success in both the short and long term.”
Gross margins fell last quarter from 52.5% to 51.5%.
Brown-Forman, which also makes Southern Comfort and other liquors, said it plans to expand the presence of many of its Jack Daniel’s drinks in developed markets like France. Jack Daniel’s only has a 2% share of the whiskey category in that market.
Shares of Brown-Forman were inactive in the premarkets Wednesday morning.