What: Shares of beauty-products maker Avon Products Inc. (NYSE:AVP) fell 17% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the company delivered a weak earnings report, and concerns about the overall business continued.
So what: Avon said that first-quarter sales fell 16%, to $1.31 billion, as performance in Brazil and China continued to drag, and its adjusted loss per share came in at $0.07, well below the $0.02 profit that Wall Street expected. Excluding the divestiture of Liz Earle, and using constant currency, revenue increased 3%. CEO Sheri McCoy said the results were in line with expectations, and the company has been successfully executing its turnaround plan, which includes selling the North American business, and implementing a new organizational structure.
Now what: Change has been coming quickly to Avon as it sold off its North American business to Cerberus in December, and cut 7% of its workforce in March. The stock has been volatile as the company implements its turnaround strategy; but it got a vote of confidence after Jefferies initiated coverage with a buy rating. The research firm said the company had taken positive steps to alleviate cash concerns, and saw its long-term targets as "very achievable."
Though macroeconomic headwinds continue in foreign markets like Brazil, Avon is taking active steps to revamp the business. Considering the stock was above $20 less than three years ago and now trades around $4, the upside potential is considerable if the company can make meaningful steps to profitable growth.