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Brink's outpaces 1Q estimates, cites Latin America

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Brink's armored car company posted a $17 million first-quarter profit, far exceeding Wall Street estimates thanks to rapid growth in Latin America, its fastest-growing market.

The company also raised its full-year outlook, and its shares soared 18 percent.

Net income for the first three months of the year amounted to 35 cents per share. Those earnings were down 10 percent from $19 million, or 39 cents per share, a year ago.

The company put adjusted earnings at 58 cents per share, up from 39 cents per share in the first quarter of 2011 and far above the consensus estimate of 39 cents per share by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue was $967 million, up 6 percent from $913 million a year earlier and above analysts' consensus estimate of $958 million.

The company said that while profit margins were up only slightly in Europe and North America amid "extremely challenging" market conditions, Latin American sales jumped $69 million to $332 million. The region now represents 40 percent of company revenue. Cost cuts also aided the bottom line.

"First-quarter results reflect strong growth throughout Latin America," said Tom Schievelbein, interim president and chief executive officer.

Brink's increased the outlook for its full-year segment profit margin to 7 percent.

Shares of Brink's Co. jumped $3.87, or 18 percent, to $25.87 in afternoon trading.