Estee Lauder Rises After First-Quarter Profit Tops Estimates

Estee Lauder Cos. rose the most in more than three years after posting first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by new products and strong sales of luxury fragrances.

Earnings in the quarter through Sept. 30 were 82 cents a share, excluding some items, the New York-based company said Monday in a statement. Analysts estimated 70 cents, on average.

First-quarter profit tops estimates, driven by luxury fragrances

Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda is investing in new products -- as well as services to make buying easier for customers -- and the moves are helping ease the sting of lower spending in markets like China and Russia. Estee Lauder said its Smashbox and Mac makeup brands were standouts during the quarter, along with Jo Malone London and Tom Ford luxury fragrances and La Mer skin care.

“We’re very pleased to see that our new investments worked extremely well,” Freda said in an interview. "We got outstanding results."

First-quarter sales rose 7.7 percent to $2.83 billion, topping analysts’ $2.78 billion average projection.

The company also is introducing new fragrances and gift products to boost results during the holiday quarter, Freda said.

The shares climbed 8.1 percent to $86.97 at the close of trading in New York, the biggest gain since August 2012. Estee Lauder has advanced 14 percent this year. The shares now trade at about 28.3 times earnings, a 50 percent premium to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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