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Fortune Brands 1Q Net Up 12% On Strong Spirit Sales

on 05/05/11 at 12:38 pm


Fortune Brands Inc.’s (FO) first-quarter earnings rose 12% as strong sales, especially in the spirits unit, offset higher input costs and continued brand investment.

Earnings beat analyst expectations, but commentary on higher freight and raw material prices and potential pressure in the second quarter helped push shares down 1.9% to $63.43 in recent trading.

Fortune Brands, whose products include Jim Beam whiskey, Moen faucets and Titleist golf balls, has benefited from an improving economy as consumers resume higher levels of discretionary spending. With prodding from investor William Ackman, the conglomerate announced late last year it would become a pure-play liquor company and is pursuing a tax-free spinoff of its home and security business and a sale or spinoff of its golf unit.

{Full story via WSJ}

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