* Q2 adj EPS $1.14 vs est EPS $1.10
* Q2 sales flat at $1.67 bln vs est $1.66 bln
* Shares soft but up 45 percent so far in 2012
By Arpita Mukherjee
July 24 (Reuters) - Jarden Corp, the maker of Mr. Coffee, posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, boosted by higher demand for its household products that offset weakness at its outdoor business.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.14 per share, topping analyst expectations for the 14th quarter in a row.
Jarden Executive Chairman Martin Franklin said diversity in the consumer goods portfolio was driving the company’s performance, despite the economic slowdown that has hit consumer spending.
Since most of the company’s products are relatively inexpensive, consumers still buy them in tough times, said Oppenheimer & Co analyst Joseph Altobello.
“They are not purchases that consumers push off in tough times,” he said.
Analysts believe Jarden will continue to do well in the second half of the year.
“With key commodities continuing to recede, we have increased confidence that the company will at least hit the high end of its 50-100 basis points gross margin improvement goal for 2012,” analyst William Chappell of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a client note.
Jarden, whose products range from Sunbeam electric blankets and Crock-Pots to Coleman camping gear and Marmot clothing, increased its gross margins to 29.6 percent, up 110 basis points from 28.5 percent a year earlier.
Franklin said his company was benefiting from less volatility in commodity prices.
“Prices have been fairly consistent in the last couple of quarters. we think that is going to continue for the foreseable future, so we don’t see a lot of input costs increases. We don’t see declines either,” he said.
Jarden -- named by Franklin as a play on its Ball canning jars and its products for the home, or den -- earned $83.2 million, or $1.08 per share, for the second quarter, up 13 percent from $73.9 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.14 per share.
Jarden, which supplies products to retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp and Bed, Bath and Beyond, said revenue was flat at $1.67 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.10 per share, on revenue of $1.66 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Jarden’s shares were down slightly at $43.37 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange but have gained 45 percent so far this year.