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Estee Lauder Rises Most in Two Years as Sales, Profit Gain

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Estee Lauder Cos., the maker of Mac cosmetics and Clinique skin care, rose the most in more than two years after raising its profit forecast for the fiscal year, boosting the dividend 40 percent and setting plans for a stock split.

Estee Lauder rose 18 percent to $118.92 at the close in New York, the most since May 2009. The shares have gained 47 percent this year.

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.

“The company’s growth is really broad-based across regions, categories, channels and brands,” Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda said today in a telephone interview. The high-end consumer in the U.S. and Asia is “frankly doing very well,” he said. “The middle is a bit soft.”

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.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at

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