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May 8 (Reuters) - Newell Brands Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, helped by strong demand for Rubbermaid food containers, Sharpie pens and baby products.
Shares of the U.S. consumer goods company jumped 11.2 percent to $51.51 in early trading after Newell also raised its profit forecast for the year and boosted its dividend payout.
Newell said it now expects full-year adjusted profit of $3-$3.20 per share, up from a prior forecast of $2.95-$3.15 per share.
The company’s results reflect the more than 100 brands added to its product line following its $15 billion purchase of Jarden Corp last year.
Newell said sales in its “Live” unit – its biggest business by sales - more than tripled to $1.1 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, helped by strong demand for Sunbeam appliances, food storage containers and Graco-branded baby products.
On a pro-forma basis, sales in the “Live” business rose 2.7 percent.
Newell’s “Learn” business, which sells writing products, reported pro-forma sales growth of 7.6 percent, helped by higher sales in memorabilia brand Jostens and as the company sold Sharpie pens in more markets.
Newell, which has been streamlining its business after the Jarden purchase, said it had nearly completed the sale of 10 percent of its brand portfolio that would allow a sharper focus on its core business.
The company also said it was on track to achieve its debt reduction goals for the year. Newell said it expects to pay down about $1.8 billion of debt this year and $3.9 billion in total since it bought Jarden.
Adjusted net income jumped 52 percent to $164 million or 34 cents per share in the quarter.
Core sales rose 2.5 percent to $3.27 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 29 cents per share and revenue of $3.22 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Overall, sales more than doubled and net income soared to $639 million from $40.5 million a year earlier, largely reflecting the Jarden deal.
Newell set its quarterly dividend at 23 cents per share, up 21 percent from the earlier payout. (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)