Outlook for 2012
Mr. Craigie stated, “We continue to perform well in a difficult and challenging economic environment. Consumer spending and growth in many categories is expected to remain weak due to high unemployment and consumer uncertainty. Nevertheless, we are in a strong position to continue to deliver value to our stockholders as a result of our balanced portfolio of value and premium products, aggressive cost cutting and tight management of overhead costs.”
With regard to 2012 targets, Mr. Craigie stated, “We now expect 2012 organic net sales growth to be approximately 4.5%, excluding the impact of the Avid acquisition. Gross margin is expected to increase by an amount at the lower end of our 25-50 basis points annual target, excluding the impact of the Avid acquisition. We have shifted marketing support from the third quarter to the fourth quarter to focus it behind the innovative new products, which we believe will continue to drive market share gains.”
Mr. Craigie added, “As a result of our strong third quarter performance, we expect 2012 earnings per share including Avid to be $2.43, compared to our previous guidance of $2.39 to $2.41. This is an increase of 15% on a reported basis, and 10% over 2011, excluding a deferred tax valuation allowance charge of $0.09 per share incurred in the fourth quarter of 2011. With regard to the fourth quarter, we expect earnings per share of approximately $0.55 reflecting increased marketing spend in the fourth quarter, which compares to last year’s fourth quarter reported EPS of $0.53, excluding the deferred tax valuation allowance charge of $0.09 per share. The company reported $0.44 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The current outlook does not include any potential EPS impact as a result of Hurricane Sandy.”Outlook for 2013 Mr. Craigie concluded, “We expect earnings per share in 2013 to be in the range of $2.74 to $2.79, an increase of approximately 13-15%, driven by 9 to 10% earnings growth from our existing business and accretion from the Avid acquisition. Our prior 2013 guidance was $2.73 to $2.78. We expect to deliver the 13-15% EPS growth while increasing the marketing investment behind the newly-acquired gummy vitamin products and our 8 Power Brands. After 2013, we remain committed to delivering on our long-term total shareholder return target of 10% to 12% annually.”
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