Mead Johnson Nutrition Co MJN
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/26/2012

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Mead Johnson Nutrition Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Genera, and I will be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Following the prepared remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the presentation over to Kathy MacDonald, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please proceed, Kathy.

Kathy MacDonald - VP, IR: Thank you, and good morning. Welcome to Mead Johnson's fourth quarter conference call. With me today are Steve Golsby, our Chief Executive Officer; and Pete Leemputte, our Chief Financial Officer.

Before we get started, let me remind everyone that our comments will include forward-looking statements about our future results, including statements about our financial prospects and projections, new product launches, and market conditions that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Keep in mind that our actual results may differ materially from expectations as of today, due to various factors including those listed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, in each case as filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and our earnings release issued this morning, all of which are available upon request or on our website at

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our estimates change.

Given that we are in the midst of the earnings reporting season, we will be respectful of your time, and I will now turn the call over to Steve.

Stephen W. Golsby - President and CEO: Thank you, Kathy, and good morning, everyone. As you read in our press release, we concluded 2011 with continued strong performance and delivered an exceptional year of sales and earnings growth.

Fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of $0.52 per share on 14% constant dollar sales growth were in line with our expectations. As expected, higher dairy prices, greater demand generation investments and the timing of pension settlement expense and tax accruals more than offset the benefit of sales growth in the quarter. Our fourth quarter results brought full year and non-GAAP earnings to $2.79 per share, an increase of 15% from the prior year.

Let me highlight some of our key achievements in 2011. First, we delivered 14% constant dollar sales growth on a full year basis, setting a new growth record for the Company in recent times. This growth was led by our Asia/Latin America segment which posted 22% growth, excluding foreign exchange; now accounts for 66% of our global sales, up from 61% in 2010. In the markets where we compete, our sales grew at the highest rate of any of the five major global competitors during the year.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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