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Fortune Brands Earnings Tumble 94%

On an adjusted basis, the maker of Jim Beam whiskey and Titleist golf products earned 30 cents a share in the first quarter, topping analysts' forecasts.

Fortune Brands


said first-quarter earnings fell 94% to $7.4 million, or 5 cents a share, from $120.5 million, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier as sales fell 20%.

In a statement Friday, the maker of Jim Beam whiskey and Titleist golf products said earnings were impacted by adverse foreign exchange and "negative operating leverage in the seasonally smallest quarter for home products." The period also included a charge of 25 cents a share related to supply-chain and cost-cutting initiatives in its home products and golf businesses.

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Excluding one-time items, earnings in the quarter were 30 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Fortune Brands to earn 22 cents a share in the first quarter.

Sales in the quarter were $1.44 billion compared with $1.81 billion a year earlier.

The company reaffirmed its full-year earnings target before items of $2 to $2.50 a share.

"This full-year target reflects our continued expectation for lower results in our home products and golf segments due to very challenging conditions in those markets, partly offset by underlying growth in spirits," said Bruce Carbonari, chairman and CEO, in a statement.