Updated from 10:01 a.m. EDT

Sara Lee ( SLE) posted a 42% increase in third-quarter profit Thursday, helped by a big cash payment and revenue gains in all of its businesses.

The company also forecast fourth-quarter and full-year 2004 earnings that meet or exceed the Wall Street consensus.

In the quarter ended March 27, the company earned $376 million, or 47 cents a share, ahead of the Wall Street consensus for 44 cents a share. Results compare with a profit of $269 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. In January 2004, Sara Lee said it received $119 million cash as partial payment from a 1999 sale of a business.

Total sales in the quarter increased 9% to $4.7 billion. The company said it had organic sales growth in its five business units: meats, bakery, beverage, household products and branded apparel. Sara Lee also said sales were positively impacted by favorable exchange rates.

Shares of Chicago-based Sara Lee were moving up 54 cents, or 2.4%, at $22.79.

By division, sales in the company's meat business increased 12% to $976 million; sales in the bakery division were up 5.7% at $810 million; beverage unit sales rose 13.4% to $801 million; and household product revenue was up 17% at $599 million.

Sara Lee sees fourth-quarter earnings of 41 cents to 45 cents a share, compared with 37 cents a share in the year-ago period. Analysts are calling for 43 cents a share.

Full-year fiscal 2004 profit is expected to be $1.56 to $1.60 a share, compared with $1.50 a share in fiscal 2003. The consensus estimate is for $1.55 a share in the year.

The company expects the higher raw material costs and competitive pricing in printables that affected operations in the third quarter to continue into the fourth quarter.

Additionally, the company said it sees its branded apparel operations income down for the year, even though it is expected to be up in the fourth quarter, and cited new product activity and a better market environment drive performance.

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