BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Kellogg Co. is lowering its full-year 2012 guidance due to a weaker-than-expected performance during the first quarter.

The company now expects its full-year earnings per share to be in the range of $3.18 to $3.30 per share. Overall, the company said the decline was driven by its European business, initial weak volume growth in some U.S. categories and the desire to continue to invest in future growth.

“We are obviously disappointed with the performance of the company in the first quarter of 2012,” said John Bryant, president and chief executive officer. “We faced more significant challenges in both Europe and in some categories in the U.S. than we expected. We have recognized and are addressing these issues and have provided revised guidance that allows us to continue to invest in the business. This investment is at the core of our operating principles, it’s the right thing to do for the health of the business, and it will help drive future growth.”

The company’s first-quarter 2012 reported net sales declined 1.3% and operating profit decreased by 6.5%. During the first quarter the company reported earnings of $1 per share, unchanged from the same quarter of the previous year. For 2012, the company expects full-year internal net sales will increase at a rate of 2% to 3%. Full-year internal operating profit is expected to decrease between 2% and 4%.

Kellogg plans to release its first-quarter results on Thursday, April 26.