Mead Johnson Nutrition Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE:MJN) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 26, 2012. Mead Johnson Nutrition provides pediatric nutrition and related products which help improve the health and development of infants and children around the world.

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 51 cents per share, a decline of 10.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 54 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 51 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 14.5% versus last year to $2.77.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent, coming in at net income of 78 cents a share versus the estimate of profit of 77 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 11.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $897.9 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with six analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 36.4% to $144.7 million (70 cents a share) from $106.1 million (52 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 15.3% to $933.9 million from $810.2 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 16.9%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter when revenue rose 22% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 8.8% in the second quarter and 16.3% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Synutra Intl., Inc. (NASDAQ:SYUT), Feihe International Inc (NYSE:ADY), Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods OJSC (NYSE:WBD), Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) and Lifeway Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:LWAY).

Stock Price Performance: During November 21, 2011 to January 20, 2012, the stock price had risen $4.03 (5.8%) from $69.76 to $73.79. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 22, 2011 and July 5, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 7.5% (+$4.82) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between January 24, 2011 and February 2, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 6.6% (-$3.99) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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