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Elizabeth Arden Shares Fall on Sales, Earnings Misses

Second-quarter results fall short of projections; full-year guidance withdrawn.

Shares of Elizabeth Arden Inc. fell more than 17 percent in after-hours trading Thursday following the beauty firm’s report that it would miss its second-quarter sales and earnings projections.

The New York-based company also withdrew its previous guidance for full-year results and said it wouldn’t update projections when it reports results for the second quarter on Feb. 5.

Arden said it expects second-quarter earnings of between $1.13 and $1.16 a diluted share on revenues of $415 million to $418 million. On an adjusted basis, excluding nonrecurring gains and charges, EPS for the period ended Dec. 31 is expected to land between $1.05 and $1.08.

Upon release of its first-quarter results on Oct. 30, the company said it anticipated second-quarter earnings of between $1.30 and $1.60 a diluted share and revenues of between $450 million and $475 million.

Echoing an observation voiced by numerous fashion and beauty executives in recent weeks, E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer, cited the highly promotional environment in the U.S. and in other markets served by the company for the bottom- and top-line shortfalls.

He said holiday retail sales and replenishment orders “at a number of our non-prestige retail accounts in North America” were lower than anticipated and hurt financial performance.

“While we are disappointed with these results, we made the strategic decision in the quarter not to participate fully in the heavy promotional and discounted environment,” he said.

Beattie added the best opportunity for better margins and profits rested in Arden’s international operations, now under the management of Eric Lauzat, executive vice president and general manager of international.

While bullish on international, Beattie acknowledged “that business has performed inconsistently in recent periods.”

Arden’s shares fell 1.4 percent to $34.50 in Nasdaq trading Thursday before dropping 17.7 percent to $28.40 in the early stages of after-hours trading following the announcement.