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Beam tops Wall Street view, stands by full-year profit target

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Beam Inc posted a bigger-than-expected third-quarter profit on Friday, helped by strong demand for its bourbon, and said it still expected earnings to grow at a low double-digit percentage rate this year.

The maker of Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons said fourth-quarter earnings would probably fall as it spends more on advertising during the holiday season.

Earnings from continuing operations were $91.7 million, or 57 cents per share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $82 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges and gains, Beam earned 62 cents per share from continuing operations, topping the analysts' average forecast of 55 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 8.3 percent to $627.5 million.