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Coty fiscal 4Q loss narrows, results top forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coty Inc.'s fiscal fourth quarter loss narrowed, and the beauty products company topped analyst expectations but said it expects to start 2014 with a revenue drop.

The New York company on Tuesday issued its first quarterly earnings report since it held an initial public offering of stock in June.

Coty said it lost $62.3 million, or 16 cents per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That compared with a loss of $357.3 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Adjusted earnings totaled 3 cents per share, excluding things like costs related to its public offering, consolidation of real estate in New York and some restructuring costs.

Revenue in the quarter climbed more than 3 percent to $1.06 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, adjusted earnings of 2 cents per share, on about $1.05 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Coty, known for its celebrity fragrances and OPI nail polish, raised nearly $1 billion for some of its stockholders with an initial public offering of about 57.1 million shares. Coty didn't receive any proceeds from the offering. The offering priced at $17.50, but the shares closed at $17.36 on their first day of trading.

They've since remained largely below the IPO price. The stock added 10 cents to $16.35 Tuesday morning while the Standard & Poor's 500 index also edged higher.

Coty's fragrances and skin and body care segments helped the company in the fourth quarter by contributing 6 percent revenue growth, excluding items like acquisitions and foreign currency exchange translations. The company also reported revenue growth from its Asia Pacific region.

For the full fiscal year, Coty earned $168 million, or 42 cents per share, on $4.65 billion in revenue.

The company said it has seen market growth in the United States and Europe slow, and it expects fiscal 2014 first quarter revenue to fall "marginally" compared with last year. It then expects to return over the course of the year to its long-term goal to grow in-line or faster than the markets where it competes.

Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson said that outlook was disappointing. The analyst expects that Coty will have to invest heavily to keep or gain market share, given tough competition in the fragrance category.