Bloomberg News

Beam’s Third-Quarter Profit Gains 14% on Bourbon Sales

November 04, 2011

(Updates shares in fifth paragraph.)

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Beam Inc., the liquor company formed last month in the breakup of Fortune Brands Inc., said third- quarter profit rose 14 percent, driven by sales of cherry infused Jim Beam Bourbon and Courvoisier.

Net income for Beam as a standalone business advanced to $83.4 million, or 53 cents a share, from $73 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said today in a statement. Analysts’ projected 50 cents a share, the average of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Matt Shattock has increased marketing spending for the company’s brands. Beam’s command of a third of the U.S. bourbon market with Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark may attract potential acquirers including Pernod-Ricard SA and Diageo Plc. Beam, which hasn’t adopted a poison pill clause to prevent a takeover, is focused on staying independent, Shattock has said.

“Beam’s stepped up brand investment has lead to broad- based acceleration in nearly all of the categories Beam competes in,” Judy Hong, an analyst with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York, wrote in an Oct. 24 note. “U.S. spirit industry trends continue to be very robust with Beam a major contributor.”

Beam rose 0.4 percent to $49.87 at 10:32 a.m. in New York. Before today, the shares had climbed 11 percent since Oct. 4, the day Beam began trading as a standalone company.

The company also said it expects full-year earnings per- share to come in at the upper end of the high-single-digit range it previously forecast on an adjusted pro forma basis. The company earned $1.92 last year on the same basis.

Third-quarter sales rose 10 percent to $707.3 million.

--Editors: James Callan, Kevin Orland

To contact the reporter on this story: Duane D. Stanford in Atlanta at dstanford2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at korland@bloomberg.net


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