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Brown-Forman provides FY'20 outlook

Brown-Forman Corp. on June 5 gave its outlook for fiscal 2020 after reporting fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

The alcoholic beverage company expects diluted EPS for 2020 to come in at $1.75 to $1.85 and underlying net sales to grow between 5% to 7%.

For the three months to April 30, Brown-Forman said diluted EPS grew 47% to 33 cents from the year-ago period, surpassing the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of 30 cents.

Net sales rose 1% year over year, or 5% on an underlying basis, to $744 million, and operating income increased by 55% to $228 million from the fourth quarter of 2018.

For full year 2019, Brown-Forman posted diluted EPS of $1.73, up 17% from 2018 and above the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate of $1.70.

The company reported that net sales grew 2% year over year, or 5% on an underlying basis, to $3.32 billion, driven by growth across all geographies and brands.

"Although tariffs and higher input costs will negatively impact our gross margins again this year, we believe we are on track to return to high single-digit operating income growth as we move beyond fiscal 2020. Our growth prospects remain bright as we develop our premium spirits portfolio around the world, led by the Jack Daniel's family of brands and Woodford Reserve," President and CEO Lawson Whiting said in a statement.