May 4, 2012
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Estée Lauder Q4 forecast disappoints, shares slip

May 4, 2012

Estée Lauder Cos Inc (gave a profit forecast that disappointed Wall Street on Friday, overshadowing large gains in sales of its skin-care products last quarter at U.S. department stores that helped mitigate declines in European markets like France.

Photo: Estée Lauder

Net sales rose 3.8 percent to $2.25 billion in the third quarter. For the current quarter, Estee Lauder expects net sales to rise 10 percent to 11 percent in constant currency terms.

Despite the expectations of continued sales gains, Estée Lauder's current-quarter adjusted profit forecast of between 11 and 16 cents per share missed the 20 cents analysts were projecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares were down 4.6 percent to $61.17 in premarket trading.

The sales gains last quarter were solely driven by its skin care products, which include La Mer and Clinique moisturizers, with fragrances, makeup and hair care all essentially flat.

Estee Lauder's products benefited from a "high single digit" percentage jump in sales at U.S. department stores which include high-end chains Saks Inc (SKS.N) and Macy's Inc's (M.N) Bloomingdale's.

The maker of Bobbi Brown, MAC and other cosmetics, reported net profit rose 4.6 percent to $130.4 million, or 33 cents a share, in the third quarter ended March 31, up from $124.7 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Estée Lauder earned 38 cents per share, beating Wall Street analysts' estimates by 5 cents. The company raised its full year adjusted earnings per share forecast to a range of $2.21 to $2.26 from an earlier $2.16 to$2.23.

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