Brown-Forman tops estimates and raises forecast

Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - Brown-Forman Corp , the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey, posted a stronger-than-expected 30 percent increase in quarterly profit helped by strong demand in emerging markets and raised its full-year outlook.

Net income was $140.7 million, or 96 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter, compared with $107.9 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected 86 cents.

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Overall net sales rose 12 percent from last year to $962.4 million, above the $877 million analysts had expected.

Brown-Forman also raised its full-year profit outlook to a range of $3.35 to $3.45 a share, excluding one-time items.

In December, it raised its forecast to a range of $3.18 to $3.42 a share. Analysts were expecting $3.31.

The company repeated its forecast of operating income growth in the mid-single digits in fiscal 2011.

The company said earlier this month that it agreed to sell its Fetzer winery to Chile's Concha y Toro to focus on higher-margin spirits. It said the sale -- expected to close in April -- would boost 2011 earnings 20 cents to 30 cents per share.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Derek Caney)

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