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Estee Lauder Results Top Estimates; Shares Jump 9.3%

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 05:07 PM

Shares of Estee Lauder Cos., the maker of Mac cosmetics and Clinique skin care, rose the most in nine months after the company reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates.

Estee Lauder advanced 9.3 percent to $60.13 at Tuesday's close in New York for the biggest jump since Nov. 3. The shares have gained 7.1 percent this year.

Growth in China and airport stores and a jump in online sales aided profit in the quarter, according to a statement Tuesday. Internet sales could double as a percentage of total revenue in the next five years from 5 percent today, Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda said. China and other overseas markets will drive the online gain as sales climb to levels seen in the U.S. and U.K., he said.

“We have proven to be able to grow in a growing market like China, but also in soft markets like Italy,” Freda said in an interview.

Net income for the period ended June 30 rose 25 percent to $51.2 million, or 13 cents a share, from $41.1 million, or 10 cents, a year ago, the company said. Excluding restructuring costs, Estee Lauder earned 17 cents a share, topping the average analyst estimate of a cent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Total sales jumped 9.2 percent to $2.25 billion, from $2.06 billion a year earlier. Analysts had estimated revenue of $2.21 billion.

For the current quarter, Estee Lauder forecast profit excluding restructuring charges of 71 cents to 77 cents a share, trailing analysts’ average estimate of 78 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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