Despite facing stiff competition, Tupperware Brands (NYSE:TUP) reported a solid quarter. Earnings were a bit difficult to decipher, but before certain items they were $0.58 a share and, on that basis, rose 18%.

Sales in local currencies were actually up a respectable 8%, versus 12% if foreign currency gains are included. The strength of its brand showed, as the Asian region, particularly emerging markets, seems to enjoy Tupperware products. China, India, and Indonesia had combined sales growth of 29% in local currency. But it did well even in mature markets. The Tupperware segment in North America posted a 20% increase in sales.

Previously, I had been concerned about competition, including throw-away containers made by Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL). Pampered Chef, a private company that also sells its wares directly through parties, is a direct competitor as well. But Tupperware retains its title thus far. Name recognition, and now color choices, help keep it on top. This can be seen in its margins. Gross margins for the quarter were 66%, a 70 basis point improvement from the prior year.

These margins look quite attractive. Avon Products (NYSE:AVP), which also sells directly, had gross margins of 60.2%. Newell's margins for its latest quarter were just 35.8%.

Reflecting on the positive results, Tupperware management saw fit to raise its expectations for the year. It now expects earnings before items to be in the $2.00-$2.05 range, a hefty $0.16 increase from prior guidance. Although currency effects are expected to boost EPS an additional $0.04, it is also facing a higher tax rate and share count. Despite this, based on this new estimate, earnings are expected to increase 12%-15%.

Tupperware has proven it can stay ahead of the pack. Despite the sharp 25% increase today, it still is trading at an attractive valuation, with a trailing P/E of 20. Investors will also receive a nice 3.3% dividend, nothing to burp about.

Tupperware and Newell Rubbermaid are both Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. To see how dividends can seal up great portfolio returns, come join the market-beating newsletter free for 30 days.

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Fool contributor Larry Rothman is happy to receive feedback, and he promises to read it when he's not being wrestled by his three children. Feel free to email him at rothmanviews@comcast.net. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is eternally fresh.