Estee Lauder Companies reported Friday a fiscal second-quarter profit that was well above expectations, as revenue also rose above forecasts, but provided a downbeat outlook for the current quarter as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases has led to renewed government restrictions. The skin care, makeup and fragrance company’s stock was still inactive in premarket trading. Net income for the quarter to Dec. 31 rose to $873 million, or $2.37 a share, from $557 million, or $1.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $2.55, above the FactSet consensus of $1.69. Sales grew 5% to $4.85 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $4.49 billion. Skin care sales jumped 28% to $2.82 billion to beat the FactSet consensus of $2.44 billion; makeup sales dropped 25% to $1.25 billion, missing expectations of $1.36 billion; fragrance sales rose 6% to $618 million, beating expectations of $534.5 million; and hair care sales slipped 5% to $154 million, below forecasts of $163.5 million. For the third quarter, the company expects adjusted EPS of $1.10 to $1.20, below the FactSet consensus of $1.46, and expects sales growth of 13% to 14%, while current expectations of $3.86 billion implies 15.3% growth. The stock has gained 6.8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has advanced 10.3%.
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