Spirits company Beam (NASDAQ:BEAM.DL) reported its 3Q results today. According to the company's official press release, its net sales totaled $627.5 million, with net income of $76.5 million ($0.47 per share). Those figures were 8% higher and 82% lower, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. However, 3Q 2011's net income was distorted by a nearly $500 million gain from discontinued operations, without which the company would have posted a loss.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had anticipated sales of $607 million, and an EPS of $0.55 per share. The company pointed out in its press release that diluted EPS from continuing operations came in at $0.57 for the quarter.

Beam's signature product is Jim Beam whiskey. The company has a range of liquor brands across all categories. This portfolio includes Maker's Mark whisky, Curvoisier cognac, and Sauza tequila.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.