Elizabeth Arden missed analysts’ estimates for both earnings and sales for the quarter. The beauty company delivered fiscal 2016 first-quarter earnings with a net loss of 56 cents a share and a net loss per diluted share of 18 cents versus the estimate of a loss of 17 cents. Net sales for the fiscal first quarter were $266 million, also short of the estimated $268 million.
North American net sales were flat and the international net sales dropped by 7 percent. Elizabeth Arden-branded products enjoyed some success as sales increased 6 percent for those products. Fragrances increased by 1 percent and skin care increased 10 percent.
Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer, commented in a statement, “This is the third consecutive quarter of sales growth for the Elizabeth Arden brand, and we are pleased to see our fragrance portfolio return to growth (in both cases at constant foreign currency rates). The new Elizabeth Arden brand marketing campaign launched this fall and is accompanied by a rich innovation pipeline. Retail performance of our latest skin-care launch is exceeding plan in all markets and leading to broad-based skin-care net sales increases.”
Gross margins improved to 42.4 percent in the quarter. This is the second quarter of gross margin improvement as the company works to turn around the business.
Looking ahead, the company expects that net sales will increase, but did not give an amount. The company is cautious about the holiday due to the retailer’s warning of competition from online sales. Gross margin expansion is expected due to a better sales mix, but no numbers were given. Elizabeth Arden did say there will be lower expenses going forward. Currency headwinds are expected to hurt the company’s sales growth by roughly 3 percent, an increase over August’s projections of 2 percent.
The stock is down 29 percent for the past year, although over the past three months, the stock has gained back 20 percent.