LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Brown-Forman Corp.'s whiskey lineup, led by its flagship Jack Daniel's brand, stirred a 12 percent increase in third-quarter net income as the spirits maker reported broad sales gain in the U.S. and overseas.
The company behind such other brands as Southern Comfort, Finlandia and el Jimador beat Wall Street forecasts for the three-month period. It also raised its full-year earnings outlook.
Its shares rose more than 4 percent in morning trading Wednesday.
"We delivered great top- and bottom-line results in the third quarter, continuing the momentum from the first half," said Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga. "We believe our top-tier performance was due primarily to the global strength of the Jack Daniel's trademark," along with its brand innovations, its performance across various price levels and its "limited exposure to some of the emerging markets that have decelerated."
Overall, the company reported net income of $177 million, or 82 cents per share, for the three months ending Jan. 31. That's up from $157 million, or 73 cents per share, a year ago. Quarterly net sales rose 5 percent to nearly $1.08 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of 75 cents per share on revenue of $1.08 billion.
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, net sales for the entire Jack Daniel's brand increased 8 percent, when excluding currency swings, the company said Wednesday. It reported continued strong sales for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.
The Louisville-based company's premium Woodford Reserve bourbon brand had strong double-digit net sales growth during the nine-month period. Its venerable Old Forester bourbon also posted double-digit growth, it said.
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