No Fortune in Fortune Brands; Profit Falls 27% - TheStreet

No Fortune in Fortune Brands; Profit Falls 27%

Fortune Brands posts 27% decline in quarterly profit, hurt by sales of golf gear and home produtcs.
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Golf gear and home products put a dent in

Fortune Brands


, sending quarterly profit tumbling 27%.

The company, which makes everything from hardware and liquor to sporting goods, earned $99.8 million, or 66 cents, in the second quarter, down from $136 million, or 88 cents, in the year-prior.

Excluding one-time items the company earned 70 cents a share, better than the 63 cents expected by analysts.

Sales fell 17% to $1.74 billion from $2.1 billion. Spirit sales were down 1%, golf equipment sank 19% and home and hardware sales tanked 25%.

As consumers cut back on home improvement projects, Fortune has seen weakness in products like faucets and cabinets. And while the alcohol business has actually remained steady in the market -- as shoppers drink away their worries, perhaps -- they are trading down from pricier brands like Fortune's Jim Beam liquor.

Fortune Brands said the strong dollar also hurt sales by 4% and decreased earnings by 5 cents a share.

Looking ahead, the company expects to earn between $2 and $2.30 in 2009.

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