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Beam 4Q net income jumps 43 pct

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Global demand for bourbon helped push fourth-quarter profit at Beam 43 percent higher, as did recent acquisitions by the spirit maker.

The company earned $126.3 million, or 79 cents per share, up from $88.5 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time changes, like the acquisition of the Pinnacle Vodka, the company's income from continuing operations was 67 cents per share, which falls in line with Wall Street expectations, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue excluding excise taxes rose 11 percent to $709.1 million, from $637.5 million, beating Wall Street predictions of $706.2 million.

Beam said its North American sales grew 8 percent, helped by higher Mexican sales, while sales in its Asia Pacific and South America region fell 2 percent, hurt by lower demand from India. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose a combined 4 percent.

Beam President and CEO Matt Shattock said global sales of bourbon were stronger than expected and the company got a bigger-than-expected boost from the Pinnacle deal.

For the full year 2012, Beam earned $382.4 million, or $2.38 per share, down from $911.4 million, or $5.78 per share, in 2011. Revenue excluding excise taxes rose to $2.47 billion from $2.31 billion.

The company said that it's targeting "high-single-digit growth" in 2013 earnings per share.

Shares of Beam Inc., based in Deerfield, Ill., rose 9 cents to $61.40 in premarket trading.