Estee Lauder Cos. Inc. said Wednesday it had net income of $294 million, or 79 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, down from $309 million, or 82 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 84 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 80 cents. Sales rose 1% to $2.87 billion from $2.83 billion, compared with a FactSet consensus of $2.89 billion. Chief Executive Fabrizio Freda said small to mid-sized brands were strong contributors to sales, along with the travel retail channel and many developed and emerging markets. "As expected, this growth was partially offset by continued macro challenges, a decline in retail traffic in U.S. mid-tier department stores, the results of the slowdown in the Middle East, continued softness in Hong Kong, and difficult comparisons with the prior year in the United States and France," he said in a statement. The cosmetics company is still expecting full-year EPS to grow 8% to 10% before charges. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are down 2% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.
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