Formula maker Mead Johnson's 1Q profit rises 5 pct

Mead Johnson's 1st-quarter profit climbs 5 percent, baby formula maker reaffirms 2013 forecast

Associated Press

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) -- Mead Johnson's first-quarter earnings climbed 5 percent, as higher prices for the infant formula maker's products in Latin America and part of Asia countered a drop in volume from North America and Europe.

The Glenview, Ill., company also said Thursday that it was reaffirming its forecast for 2013 earnings to range between $3.22 and $3.30 per share. Analysts expect, on average, $3.28 per share, according to FactSet.

For the three months that ended March 31, the company earned $172.5 million, or 85 cents per share. That compares to earnings of $164.2 million, or 80 cents per share, the previous year.

Adjusted earnings totaled 85 cents per share, which matched analyst expectations.

Revenue grew more than 5 percent to $1.04 billion, and that topped the average analyst forecast for about $1.02 billion.

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. said revenue from its Asia/Latin America segment climbed 7 percent to $755.3 million in the quarter, largely due to higher prices. Revenue from China fell, but the company said it saw strong and broad-based growth across south Asia and Latin America.

North America/Europe revenue climbed only 1 percent to $282.6 million. The company attributed that to a drop in volume due to the elimination of some businesses, which was balanced by higher prices.

Company shares sank 2.6 percent, or $2.14 to $78.85 in Thursday morning trading, but the stock is still up around 19 percent so far this year.

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