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Fortune Brands posts 3Q profit gain, lifts outlook

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. on Tuesday posted sharply higher third-quarter net income as the home-products maker benefited from an improving housing market, particularly for new construction.

The company also lifted its full-year earnings outlook above Wall Street's expectations.

The maker of Moen faucets, Master locks, MasterBrand cabinets and other products said its net income in the July-to-September quarter rose to $40 million, or 24 cents per share, up from earnings of $2.2 million, or a penny per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, Fortune Brands posted adjusted earnings of 29 cents per share.

Analysts, whose estimates typically exclude one-time items, had expected earnings of 25 cents per share on average, according to a survey by FactSet.

Revenue increased 7 percent to $909.1 million from $848 million, beating analysts' consensus forecast of $898.8 million.

Revenue from Fortune's largest business, kitchen and bath cabinetry, rose 6 percent to nearly $330 million, while plumbing and accessories sales increased nearly 12 percent to $278 million. That segment reported strong growth in its U.S. wholesale business, as well as in international markets, especially China.

Fortune's advanced material windows and door system segment posted a 7 percent revenue increase, with security and storage revenue growing 2 percent.

CEO Chris Klein said the market for Fortune's products improved, with double-digit growth in new housing construction and moderate improvement in spending for home repairs and remodeling.

The company, based in Deerfield, Ill., raised its full-year 2012 earnings outlook to a range of 86 cents to 88 cents per share, excluding one-time items. That's up from the company's previous expectations for a range of 77 cents to 87 cents.

Analysts had been expecting 83 cents per share, on average.

Fortune Brands reported third-quarter results after its shares fell $1.17, or nearly 4.2 percent, to close at $26.97. The stock added a penny in after-hours trading to $26.98.

Fortune Brands Home & Security is the result of an October 2011 spinoff from the former Fortune Brands Inc., which then renamed itself Beam Inc. after its flagship bourbon brand.