Brown-Forman Third-Quarter Net Income Falls 13%

Brown-Forman - which makes Jack Daniel's and Finlandia vodka and other liquor brands - said Tuesday its third-quarter profit fell 13% from last year, when results were lifted from onetime gains.

Earnings for the quarter ended Jan. 31 totaled $105.1 million, or 85 cents a share, down from $120.5 million, or 98 cents a share, during the same period last year. Year-ago results included a benefit of 14 cents a share from changes in an Australian distribution joint venture and a 4-cent-a-share gain from the sale of winery property.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings from continuing operations totaled 89 cents a share in the latest period, up 12% from 80 cents a year ago.

Revenue grew 20% to $754.8 million from $627.6 million a year ago, benefitting from growth across all premium brands, as well as changes to the company's distribution arrangements in Australia and a weaker U.S. dollar, which accounted for about half of reported growth.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected net income of 82 cents a share on revenue of $707 million. The estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The company said it had "solid" profit growth from Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, and the Jack Daniel's & Cola ready-to-drink beverage, which is sold primarily in Australia.

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