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What: Shares of cosmetics maker Estee Lauder
So what: The economy might be struggling, but Estee Lauder's first-quarter results -- earnings jumped 46% on 18% revenue growth -- indicate that consumers are still willing to pay up for life's little luxuries. In fact, the company -- which generates more than half its sales overseas -- is seeing particularly strong demand in Asia and, believe it or not, Europe, suggesting that its products are largely isolated from all of the global uncertainty.
Now what: "As we move forward in this environment, we believe the strategies we have implemented better position us for sustained growth and increased profitability," CEO Fabrizio Freda said. In fact, the company now sees adjusted annual earnings of $4.25-$4.45 per share, which is up from previous guidance of $4.00-$4.20 per share. And given its decision to also raise the annual dividend 40%, management seems pretty confident in the company's long-term prospects, as well.
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