Shares of Estee Lauder Companies (EL) rose sharply in the pre-market Wednesday after the cosmetics manufacturer reported double-digit growth in first-quarter earnings, helped mainly by strong demand for its skincare products and continuing overseas expansion, especially in China. The results came in above Wall Street estimates.
Adjusted earnings, excluding special items, grew 22% year-on-year to $1.47 per share, which was above the consensus estimate. Reported net income increased 17% to $500 million or $1.34 per share in the first quarter from $427 million or $ 1.14 per share last year.
Driving the profit growth, net sales rose by 8% to $3.52 billion, with all the leading product categories and channels registering growth. However, analysts had forecast a slower gain. With a 17% increase, skincare continued to be the main growth driver, followed by makeup products that rose 2%. While the overseas market witnessed stronger demand, sales in the US declined.
With a 17% increase, skincare continued to be the main growth driver, followed by makeup products that rose 2%
“Our creative innovations and high-quality products resonated strongly. We attracted new consumers and increased engagement with existing ones through successful digital advertising and influencer activities,” said Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda.
Anticipating positive consumer demand across all markets, the management sees sales growing between 4% and 5% in the second quarter when earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.37 per share to $1.41 per share. The outlook for adjusted earnings per share is between $1.47 and $1.50.
In the whole of 2019, earnings and adjusted earnings are forecast to be in the range of $4.40-$4.53 per share and $4.73-$4.82 shares respectively. Full-year revenue is estimated to grow between 4% and 5%. The company sees a modest drop in its China sales owing to the ongoing trade issues.
Estee stock gained about 7% following Wednesday’s earnings announcement, after closing the last trading session sharply higher.