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Mead Johnson Nutrition 1Q profit rises 21 percent

Thu, 04/29/2010 - 6:17am
The Associated Press

Children's formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said Thursday its first-quarter profit advanced 21 percent as sales increased in Latin America and Asia.

The Enfamil maker said its profit grew to $125.6 million, or 61 cents per share. That's up from $103.5 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time costs, Mead Johnson said its profit totaled 65 cents per share. Revenue rose 10 percent, to $763.5 million from $693 million.

Analysts expected 60 cents per share and $742.7 million in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

Mead Johnson said its profit was reduced by 5 cents per share because the Venezuelan bolivar was devalued in January. That reduction is not counted as a one-time charge.

The former Bristol-Myers Squibb unit said revenue from Asia and Latin America climbed 17 percent to $456 million. North America and Europe revenue edged up 1 percent, to $307.5 million. It said lower interest expense and taxes also boosted its results.

Mead Johnson narrowed its profit forecasts for the year. It now expects a profit of $2.10 to $2.17 per share rather than $2.07 to $2.17 per share. Excluding one-time items it now expects to earn $2.33 to $2.40 per share, compared to a broader range of $2.30 to $2.40 per share. Analysts expect $2.37 per share.

Mead Johnson stocks rose $1.84, or 3.6 percent, to $52.26 in morning trading.

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