Fortune Brands Profit Sinks

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Fortune Brands Inc. (FO), the maker of products ranging from Jim Beam Bourbon to Titleist golf balls, on Friday said third-quarter earnings declined 59 percent, citing integration costs and the absence of a tax-related credit recorded in the year-ago period.

The company posted earnings of $92.2 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $226.8 million, or $1.52 a share, in the year earlier period.

Excluding charges and gains, Fortune Brands reported earnings of $1.12 a share.

Sales rose 19 percent to $1.8 billion, the company said in a statement.

Analysts on average were expecting Fortune Brands (search) to post earnings of $1.13 a share on revenue of $1.86 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said it sees fourth-quarter earnings growing at a mid-single to a low-double-digit rate and affirmed its 2005 outlook for double-digit earnings per share growth before charges and gains.