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Feb 2, 2012
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Elizabeth Arden forecast disappoints; shares slump

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 2, 2012

Elizabeth Arden Inc (RDEN.O) forecast a weaker current quarter than analysts had anticipated as it feels pressure from volatile foreign exchange rates and spends on speeding up the rollout of its updated namesake brand.

Arden, which sells Prevage anti-aging creams and celebrity fragrances by stars including Britney Spears, stood by its fiscal year profit forecast, which has earnings likely falling short of analysts' expectations.

The cosmetics company also reported a bigger-than-expected rise in fiscal second-quarter profit, helped by rising sales in Europe and elsewhere.

KEY POINTS

Q2 2012 Estimate* Q2 2011

Net sales * $429.9 mln $428.9mln $405.6 mln

Net income $42.4 mln -- $33.95 mln

EPS $1.42 $1.39 $1.19

- Still sees fiscal 2012 EPS of $1.90-$2.00, net sales rising 5-6 percent. Analysts were looking for a profit of $1.99 per share.

- Expects Q3 earnings to be nil to 4 cents a share on sales of $238-$243 million. Analysts expected a profit of 6 cents per share on sales of $243.5 million.

- Said continued global economic uncertainty may hurt retailer and consumer confidence and demand, and this, along with foreign currency volatility, makes forecasting difficult.

MARKET REACTION

- Shares down 10.6 percent at $33.06 in late-morning trading after falling as low as $30.96.

BACKGROUND

- Elizabeth Arden's products are marketed to a variety of shoppers, from those buying fragrances at Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) to others who want to buy pricier Prevage anti-aging creams at chains such as Macy's Inc (M.N).

Note: * Average analyst estimate according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Jessica Wohl in Chicago and Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)

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