Estee Lauder Rises the Most Since 1995 as Sales, Profit Improve

Estee Lauder Cos., the maker of Mac cosmetics and Clinique skin care, rose the most since 1995 after the company raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year, boosted the dividend 40 percent and set plans for a stock split.

Profit for the year ending in June will be as much as $4.45 a share, excluding some items, the New York-based company said in a statement today. Estee Lauder predicted in August that fiscal 2012 profit would reach $4.20. Analysts forecast $4.28, the average of 17 estimates from a Bloomberg survey.

Sales in the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30 gained 18 percent to $2.48 billion, helped by stronger demand in all of the company’s markets and a weaker U.S. dollar that aided results overseas. The company said it will split its common stock 2-for-1 in January, and raise the annual dividend to $1.05 a share, according to a separate statement.

Estee Lauder rose 13 percent to $114.21 at 10:49 a.m. in New York trading. The shares climbed as much as 19 percent for the biggest intraday jump since the company first sold shares to the public in November 1995.

Net income for the first quarter rose 46 percent to $278.6 million, or $1.40 a share, from $191.1 million, or 95 cents, a year earlier. Excluding a restructuring charge of 1 cent a share, the company said it had profit of $1.41, beating the $1.18 estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York at llochner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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