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Mead Johnson Q4 Profit, Sales Top Estimate, Shares Up

 January 31, 2013 09:19 AM

(By Mani) Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (NYSE: MJN) said its fourth-quarter profit beat estimates as it generated higher sales from Asia, North America and Europe via price increases. Shares of the company gained 4 percent in the pre-market hours.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders totaled $134.2 million, or 66 cents a share, compared to $85.6 million, or 42 cents a share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, net earnings totaled $146.7 million, or 72 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $106.5 million, or 52 cents a diluted share, for the same quarter a year ago.

Quarterly sales of Mead Johnson, which makes Enfamil infant nutrition powder, rose 8 percent to $981.1 million.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $956.32 million for the quarter.

The Asia/Latin America segment sales of $663.5 million were up 10 percent from $604.8 million in 2011. Sales increased six percent from price, three percent from volume, and one percent from foreign exchange. The North America/Europe segment sales grew 4 percent to $317.6 million .

For 2013, Mead Johnson sees non-GAAP earnings in the range of $3.22 to $3.30 a share, up from the $3.08 per share earned in 2012. Annual constant dollar sales growth from ongoing operations are expected to be in the range of 7 percent to 8 percent and will be reduced by 1 percent as it exits several low margin non-core businesses. Therefore, key assumptions underlying non-GAAP guidance include an expected sales increase of 6 percent to 7 percent excluding the effect of foreign exchange.

Street expects earnings of $3.33 a share on 7.7 revenue growth at $4.17 billion.

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