Elizabeth Arden says refusal to discount heavily to hurt results

Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:37pm EST

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Beauty products maker Elizabeth Arden Inc estimated quarterly results below analysts' expectations, saying sales were hurt by its refusal to discount deeply even as other retailers offered heavy promotions.

Shares of the company, which also withdrew its full-year forecast, fell 21 percent in trading after the bell.

In 2013, U.S. retailers offered the biggest promotions since the 2008 recession to get shoppers to spend in a shortened holiday season.

"Our results were significantly impacted by an increased level of highly promotional and discounted activity globally and weaker than anticipated holiday retail sales and replenishment orders at a number of our non-prestige retail accounts in North America," Chief Executive E. Scott Beattie said in a statement.

He said the company made a strategic decision not to "participate fully in the heavy promotional and discounted environment."

The company, which sells celebrity fragrances and cosmetics under the Elizabeth Arden brand, said it was withdrawing its full-year forecast in light of its quarterly performance.

It said in October that it expected net sales growth to be in the lower half of a 3-5 percent range for the year ending June.

Elizabeth Arden had also forecast full-year earnings in the lower half of a range of $2.15-$2.30 per share.

The company said on Thursday that it expected adjusted earnings of $1.05-$1.08 per share for the second quarter ended Dec. 31.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.48 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The beauty products company estimated quarterly sales of $415 million-$418 million, below the average analyst estimate of $467.9 million.

Elizabeth Arden shares closed about 1 percent down at $34.50 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. (Reporting by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)