Black is back, and red results are out at Elizabeth Arden
The company earned $0.33 a share in the fourth quarter, in line with guidance. Revenues rose better than 26%, excluding foreign currency gains. Even assuming a more normal tax rate of 25.6%, earnings were still $0.20 a share, versus a loss of $0.04 last year. Avon Products'
What helped make the results sweeter for this master of beautification? International markets performed well, for one thing. But sales also rose from the availability of new fragrances at mass retailers. That's right. Elizabeth is going downtown and selling its goods in places such as Wal-Mart
Elizabeth Arden should continue smelling like a rose. Given the company's recent success, I expect its products to remain appealing, both here and abroad. It can thank Mariah Carey, too. Her new fragrance, called M by Mariah Carey, is launching globally next month. Mariah has broad appeal -- heck, even old fogies like me have heard her music.
The company does expect to lose $0.03-$0.05 a share in its first quarter, but investors shouldn't sweat it. Q1 is traditionally weak for Elizabeth Arden, and it took a further hit this year from increased ad spending on the new Mariah fragrance and a shift in the calendar, which moves certain holiday shipments to the next quarter. For the first half of the year, the company expects net sales to increase by 6%-7%, and earnings are forecasted to range from $1.15-$1.20 a share for the first half and $1.65-$1.75 for the year.
The recent announcement that Playtex Products
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 email@example.com. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned.