AptarGroup shares rise on outlook, realignment plan

BANGALORE Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:03pm EST

BANGALORE Feb 11 (Reuters) - Shares of AptarGroup Inc (ATR.N) rose 6 percent Thursday, a day after the supplier of cosmetics dispensers forecast strong quarterly earnings and revealed plans to realign its business.

Analysts said the realignment would help streamline the company's business and help it focus on the end-market versus a specific product capability.

"For example, personal care which previously used to sell in two categories will now be sold under one category. It just makes more intuitive sense," analyst Ghansham Panjabi of Robert W. Baird & Co said by phone.

The company, which plans to have three business segments, expects to fully operate under the new structure from 2011.

Analyst Panjabi said the company did a good job of cutting costs during the economic downturn and protecting their franchises and customers.

Crystal Lake, Illinois-based AptarGroup, which draws about half of its total revenue from the beauty and home segment, however, said it would remain cautiously optimistic for 2010.

"In Europe, for example, there is the tendency of higher unemployment which could affect the demand," AptarGroup Chief Executive Peter Pfeiffer said on a conference call, adding that in the United States, the crisis is still not over yet.

Fragrance and cosmetic sales have taken a hit due to the weakness in discretionary spending and lower footfalls at mall-based stores.

The company reported forecast-beating fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday. [ID:nSGE6190MQ]

AptarGroup shares were up 5 percent at $36.87 in afternoon trade Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anirban Sen; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)