Mead Johnson , the US-based infant nutrition group, has booked an increase in third quarter sales and earnings but a narrow miss of consensus expectations caused shares to slide in New York today (23 October).
The company said that sales in the three months to end-September rose 4% to US$1.09bn. Excluding the impact of currency exchange sales rose 7%, Mead Johnson stressed.
Sales were boosted by a strong performance in Latin America – where constant currency revenue increased 14% – and a rebound in North America/Europe where constant currency sales were up 10%. Mead Johnson said that US sales benefited from soft comparables as the company lapped de-stocking issues in the year-ago period. In Asia, however, constant currency sales were softer – up just 4%.
EBIT totalled $242.6m for the quarter, compared to $250.7m for the comparative period in 2013. Net earnings were $0.92 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2014, 10% higher than net earnings of $0.84 per diluted share last year.
The result narrowly missed consensus estimates of $0.93 a share. The group’s share price was off 0.77%, dropping to $99.81 at 12.05 ET.
Mead Johnson reaffirmed its full-year outlook for earnings of $3.59 to $3.66.