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Why Shares of Edgewell Personal Care Co. Soared Today

By Timothy Green – Feb 3, 2016 at 11:22AM

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The personal-care company handily beat analyst expectations, posting earnings growth by slashing costs.

What: Shares of Edgewell Personal Care (EPC 3.70%) jumped on Wednesday following the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Edgewell beat analyst estimates for both revenue and earnings despite a year-over-year revenue decline. At 3:15 p.m. EST on Wednesday, the stock was up about 13.5%.

So what: Edgewell reported quarterly revenue of $495 million, down 7.9% year over year, but $15.5 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Organic sales, which exclude the impact of currency, rose 0.5% during the quarter. Organic sales of wet shave and sun and skin care products rose 1.1% and 4.4%, respectively, year over year, while organic sales of feminine care and other products declined by 2.3% and 2.4%, respectively.

Edgewell reported non-GAAP earnings of $0.68 per share, up from $0.62 per share in the prior-year period, and $0.08 higher than analyst expectations. GAAP EPS was $0.39, up from $0.32. The higher earnings were driven by lower costs, with SG&A expense down by 24.8% year over year, and advertising expense down 8.1% year over year.

Edgewell also reiterated its previous guidance for fiscal 2016. Organic sales are expected to be flat, while currency will negatively impact total revenue by $50 million to $60 million, leading to a mid-single-digit decline. Adjusted EPS is expected to be between $3.20 and $3.40.

Now what: Like all companies with a significant amount of international sales, currency is having a severe negative impact on Edgewell's numbers. Despite this challenge, the company managed to perform better than analysts were expecting, and dramatically lower costs led to earnings growth during the quarter. The jump in the stock price on Wednesday seems to be a case of the company outperforming investors' pessimistic expectations.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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