Avon Products Reports Wider-than-expected Loss As Sales Miss

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Avon Products Inc. reported on Thursday a fourth-quarter loss that widened to $333.4 million, or 76 cents a share, from $330.7 million, or 75 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as restructuring costs, the per-share loss was 16 cents, missing the FactSet consensus for a per-share loss of 11 cents, as operating margin declined 2.8 percentage points to 58.7%. Revenue fell 20% to $1.61 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $1.85 billion, as beauty sales dropped 21% and fashion & home sales declined 14%. Excluding the impact of currency moves, sales would have increased 3%. Average orders decreased 1%. The company said it expects the transformation plan announced in January to produce cost savings of $350 million after three years. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has tumbled 20% year to date through Wednesday, but was still up 5.2% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has lost 11% in three months.

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