Estée Lauder’s latest results could use more touch-up.
The skincare and make-up company behind brands including MAC, Clinique and its eponymous brand, posted disappointing earnings outlook on Friday.
The New York-based company said it expects to earn between 73 to 77 cents per share in the current quarter, much narrower than the 90 cents that analysts had forecast.
Full-year earnings in the range of $3.38 to $3.44 per share, were also shy of the $3.53 that analysts were looking for.
The company did however post better than expected profits in its fiscal fourth quarter. Estée said net income slid to $95m or 25 cents a share in the three months ended in June, compared with $153.8m or 40 cents a share in the year ago period. Adjusting for one-time items, earnings of 43 cents a share, topped expectations for 40 cents.
The strength in the US dollar has weighed on the company, which derives more than 60 per cent of its revenues overseas, with foreign currency conversions having a negative impact of 26 cents a share for the full-year.
Sales rose 5 per cent to $2.65bn broadly in line with estimates.
Make-up has been the fastest growing market in the prestige beauty industry thanks to millennial customers and their love of selfies and YouTube artists. Sales at its make-up unit, the company’s second largest division, rose 10 per cent to $1.1bn. While skin-care sales, the company’s largest division, rose 2 per cent to $1bn.
Fabrizio Freda, chief executive, said:
We capitalized on shifting consumer preferences by leveraging our strength in makeup and positioning our Company to win in luxury fragrances. We nimbly allocated resources and made strategic investments in areas that gave us terrific results, including emerging markets, our makeup category, and the online and specialty-multi retail channels.
Importantly, we achieved these results against a backdrop of social and political instability, currency volatility and economic challenges.
The company said earlier this year that it was cutting between 900 to 1200 jobs in an effort to reduce costs and use those savings to invest in research and development. Estée shares have advanced nearly 8 per cent so far this year.
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