Nov 4, 2014
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Estee Lauder profit falls 24 percent

Nov 4, 2014

U.S. cosmetics company Estee Lauder Cos Inc cut its full-year profit and sales growth forecast, hurt by weak demand in its key markets, sending its shares down 4 percent in premarket trading.

The company said it was cautious of slower growth in Hong Kong and China, strength of the U.S. dollar and weaker demand from some retailers in the United States.

Photo: Esteelauder.com

It was also monitoring the effects of certain global uncertainties on its business, including increased sanctions against Russia, Estee Lauder said.

The company cut its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $3.03-$3.11 per share from $3.10-$3.20 per share.

It trimmed its forecast for net sales growth to 2-3 percent in constant currency, from 3-4 percent.

The maker of M.A.C., Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder cosmetics said sales in the Americas fell 7.3 percent, while those in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) rose 5.7 percent in the first quarter ended Sept. 30.

The two regions make up for nearly 80 percent of Estee Lauder's total sales.

The company's net sales fell 1.6 percent to $2.63 billion as some retailers advanced orders in the fourth quarter ahead of a planned technology upgrade.

In the last one year, Estee Lauder has grown sales faster than those of rivals such as Coty Inc and Elizabeth Arden Inc in key U.S. and European markets as it has a wider portfolio of cosmetic products, including skin care and makeup, and caters to higher-income customers.

Last week, Elizabeth Arden posted its third straight quarterly loss, largely due to its large exposure to perfumes, a category that has seen weak demand in North America.

Net income attributable to Estee Lauder fell 24 percent to $228.1 million, or 59 cents per share. Analysts an average had expected a profit of 55 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's shares were at $72.52 before the bell after closing at $75.96 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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