Estee Lauder Beats Profit Expectations, But Outlook Is Slightly Below

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

Estee Lauder Companies Inc.'s stock was little changed in premarket trade Monday, after the make-up and fragrance company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations but provided a downbeat outlook. For the quarter ended June 30, earnings declined to $153 million, or 40 cents a share, from $257.7 million, or 66 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for earnings per share of 34 cents. Sales slipped 7% to $2.52 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $2.57 billion, as bigger-than-anticipated declines in skin care and make-up sales offset a surprise increase in fragrance sales. For the fiscal first quarter, the company expects EPS, including a charge related to Venezuela currency, of 66 cents to 69 cents, and expects EPS excluding currency effects of 75 cents to 78 cents. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of 81 cents. The stock has run up 17% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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