UPDATE 2-Mead Johnson cuts outlook as China challenges remain
* 3rd-qtr EPS $0.71/shr misses Wall Street view by a penny
Sees '12 EPS $2.91-$2.96/shr; Prior view was $2.95-$3.05/shr
* Shares down about 4 pct in premarket trade
Oct 25 (Reuters) - Mead Johnson Nutrition Co reported quarterly profit slightly below analysts' expectations and cut its full-year outlook, hurt by a slowdown in China, sending shares about 4 percent lower in premarket trading.
The maker of Enfamil baby formula said it now expected 2012 earnings of $2.91 to $2.96 per share, down from its prior forecast of $2.95 to $3.05.
The company lost market share in China earlier this year after it raised prices and a competitor offered aggressive promotions. In the third quarter, sales in the Asia/Latin America segment rose 1 percent, as price increases were largely offset by volume declines and the strong U.S. dollar, which reduces the value of overseas sales.
Net income was $140.3 million, or 69 cents per share, down from $144.7 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, earnings were 71 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 72 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales slipped to $921.3 million from $933.9 million.
Sales fell 6 percent in the North America/Europe segment. The company cited the weak economy in Europe and the impact in North America of lower births and a lingering impact from a contamination scare late last year.
Shares fell 4 percent to $66.65 in premarket trading.