Avon Products Reports Surprise Loss While Sales Rise As Expected

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Avon Products Inc. reported a first-quarter loss that narrowed to $36.5 million, or 10 cents a share, from a loss of $165.9 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the adjusted loss per share was 7 cents, while the FactSet consensus was for earnings per share of 1 cent. Revenue rose 2% to $1.33 billion from $1.31 billion, matching the FactSet consensus of $1.33 billion, as better-than-expected North Latin America sales offset misses in Europe, Middle East & Africa and South Latin America. The beauty products company expects 2017 revenue to grow in the "low single-digits" percentage range from last year, while the FactSet consensus of $5.80 billion implies growth of 1.5%. For 2017, the company said it will focus its transformation plan, which was initiated in January 2016, on investment in media and social selling. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has shed 7.7% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.

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