Shares of cigarette manufacturer Estee Lauder Inc. (EL) hit a new 52-week high of $75.62 on May 2, 2014, recording a healthy year-to-date return of 2.6%. Share prices soared on the back of solid third-quarter fiscal 2014 results and positive outlook for fiscal 2015.
Solid First-Quarter Performance
Though third-quarter earnings missed Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny, they exceeded the prior-year results by 20.0% on the back of decent top line show across all the segments of the company.
Net sales went up 8% year over year on the back of higher sales in most of the geographic regions and major product categories.
Estee Lauder expects its business momentum to continue throughout the year. Following better-than-expected third quarter results; Estee Lauder raised its fiscal 2014 earnings per share outlook to a range of $2.86 to $2.90 from $2.80 to $2.87 expected previously.
Investors are also encouraged by the company’s product launch lineup for the upcoming year. The company expects global prestige beauty industry, to grow about 3% to 4% in 2014. It plans to launch a new shower gel and body lotion as well as limited edition mascara and repair sets in fiscal 2015..
Other Stocks to Consider
Headquartered in New York, Estee Lauder engages in the manufacture and sale of skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products and currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stock in the cosmetics and toiletries sector includes Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) and Coty Inc. (COTY). Both the stocks have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another stock in the retail sector worth considering is American Apparel, Inc. (APP) carrying the same Zacks Rank as Helen of Troy.