Elizabeth Arden blames 4th-quarter loss on Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber fragrances; shares fall

MarketsAssociated Press

Celebrity perfumes are turning out to be a stinker for Elizabeth Arden.

The cosmetics company said Tuesday that its loss widened in the last quarter as demand declined for its celebrity fragrances, particularly the Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber brands.

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Elizabeth Arden Inc.'s shares sank 24 percent in afternoon trading Tuesday and touched a four-year low.

The company said part of the reason sales dropped was because more retailers cut their inventories of Elizabeth Arden's products. The company also said it is working on a plan to reduce sales to retailers who sell its brands for cheap. Elizabeth Arden's other celebrity fragrances include Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. It also makes skin care and makeup products.

"Our primary focus as an organization is to improve performance and restore profitability," said CEO E. Scott Beattie in a statement.

The Miramar, Florida-based company reported a loss of $155.9 million, or $5.24 per share, in the quarter that ended on June 30. Adjusted for one-time items, its loss came to $1.04 per share — still far worse than the loss of 33 cents per share analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted.

In the fiscal fourth quarter a year ago, Elizabeth Arden's loss was $5 million, or 17 cents per share.

Revenue fell 28 percent to $191.7 million from $267.6 million, below the $241.7 million analysts expected.

Shares of the company fell $4.68 to $14.94 Tuesday. They bottomed at $14.65 earlier in the day, their lowest point since August 2010.