US infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition has upped its forecast for annual earnings after seeing “strong” sales in emerging markets in the third quarter of the year.

The company today (13 October) predicted that its full-year non-GAAP earnings per share would reach US$2.73-2.78, up from its prior guidance of $2.70-2.75.

The new outlook was made at a meeting with analysts ahead of the publication of Mead Johnson‘s third-quarter results in two weeks time.

At the meeting, CEO Stephen Golsby said Mead Johnson’s net sales in the quarter are expected to have risen by 15% to $934m. At constant exchange rates, sales are set to have increased by 11%.

Sales in Asia and Latin America are said to have risen by 30% during the quarter. In North America and Europe, sales are expected to have fallen by 7%.

Non-GAAP earnings per share are set to be $0.76-0.78. The company did not provide a figure for last year today but, a year ago, it did report that non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $0.53 for the third quarter of 2010.

“We are very pleased with our strong sales growth in emerging markets, led by China, Hong Kong and our markets in Latin America,” Golsby said. “These results point to solid execution of our strategies.”

Shares in Mead Johnson were up 2.6% at $73.73 at 1606 ET.