Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Estee Lauder Extends Revenue Gains on E-Commerce, China

Updated on
  • Company raises revenue guidance for the current fiscal year
  • Biggest product categories post double-digit increases

Estee Lauder Cos.’s online sales and China push are helping maintain its growth streak.

The New York-based seller of Clinique and Aveda products saw sales surge across most of its brands in the latest quarter, with skin care, makeup and fragrances all posting double-digit gains. Revenue advanced on a regional level too, led by a 33 percent climb in Asia Pacific. Online sales -- an area of increasing importance for cosmetics companies -- also rose.

“In the holiday season, our brands achieved outstanding results from their e-commerce businesses, and customizable gift options were significant contributors,” Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Freda said in a statement.

Estee Lauder has profited from higher demand for fragrances and premium cosmetics and capitalized on a growing Chinese market, helping it outpace rivals and reward investors. Its acquisition of millennial-friendly brands and quick adaptation of digital technology to boost online performance have helped revenue accelerate for five straight quarters.

The shares rose as much as 3.1 percent to $138.74, before paring some of the gain amid a broader decline in U.S. stocks. Estee Lauder had climbed almost 70 percent in the 12 months through Thursday.

Excluding some items, profit was $1.52 a share, surpassing the average estimate of $1.44 from analysts. Sales of $3.74 billion also exceeded the projections for $3.67 billion.

The results sparked more optimistic guidance on revenue and profit for the current fiscal year. Estee Lauder sees sales rising 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent, up from a previous range of 10 percent to 11 percent.

The company announced a series of charges related to the U.S. tax overhaul, including a provisional $325 million related to past foreign earnings that haven’t been repatriated to the U.S. It also expects two separate tax-related charges totaling about $69 million.

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