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Mead Johnson Reports Strong First Quarter Earnings; Delivers 11 Percent Constant Dollar Sales Growth; And Increases Annual Guidance

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE: MJN) today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.
  • First quarter sales of $1,113.3 million increased seven percent from $1,037.9 million in the prior-year quarter. Sales were up 11 percent on a constant dollar basis.
  • Sales for the Asia and North America/Europe segments each grew nine percent, while the Latin America segment grew 21 percent, all on a constant dollar basis. Venezuela and Argentina price increases, which helped mitigate the unfavorable impact of weaker local currencies, contributed 10 percent to the segment's growth and two percent to overall company growth.
  • In the first quarter of 2014, MJN adopted mark-to-market accounting (“MTM”) for all of its defined benefit pension and other post-employment benefit plans (“New Pension Accounting”). As such, all results and prior year comparisons have been recast. See the company's Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2014 for details regarding the impact of this change.
  • Following the New Pension Accounting change, GAAP net earnings of $1.00 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2014 were up from $0.92 per diluted share a year ago. Earnings increased from higher sales volume and pricing, along with a favorable tax rate, offset in part by the impact of a stronger dollar, higher demand-generation investments and the impact of a 2013 pension MTM actuarial gain.
  • Non-GAAP (1) net earnings of $1.02 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2014 increased from $0.88 per diluted share in 2013.
  • For full-year 2014, GAAP net earnings are now expected to be between $3.54 and $3.66 per diluted share compared to the previously reported range of $3.44 to $3.56 per diluted share. Possible future quarterly and annual pension MTM actuarial gains or losses are not reflected in the current GAAP guidance because they cannot be estimated with certainty. Non-GAAP net earnings in 2014 are now expected to be between $3.60 and $3.72 per diluted share compared to the previously reported range of $3.50 to $3.62 per diluted share. Of the expected $0.10 increase in earnings per share, approximately two-thirds is attributed to the New Pension Accounting with the remainder the result of stronger anticipated operational performance. To provide a better view of underlying operational performance, pension MTM actuarial gains or losses will be treated as a Specified Item. (1)

(1) For the definition of Specified Items and a reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP results, see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” on the schedule titled “Supplemental Financial Information” included in this release.

“We achieved record sales and earnings in the quarter,” said Chief Executive Officer Kasper Jakobsen. “Sales growth was strong across all segments, including within our two largest markets. With innovations launched last year and increased investment in demand creation, we continued to see market share gains in all three segments. We invested appropriately to support future growth, while delivering 16 percent growth in earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis.”

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