UPDATE 1-Estee Lauder raises profit forecast, helped by new products

Fri May 2, 2014 9:30am EDT

(Adds forecast, details, share movement)

May 2 (Reuters) - Estee Lauder Cos Inc, known for its Clinique and MAC brands, raised its earnings forecast for the full year, driven by the launch of new skin care and makeup products.

The company, which plans to launch a new shower gel and body lotion as well as limited edition mascara and repair sets, raised its earnings forecast to $2.86-$2.90 per share from $2.80-$2.87.

Analysts on average were expecting $2.87 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The forecast excludes a 10-cent impact from the currency devaluation in Venezuela in the third quarter and expected gains of 14-17 cents per share from early orders from some retailers in the fourth quarter.

Estee Lauder said it expects global prestige beauty, to which the company belongs, to grow about 3 to 4 percent in 2014.

Shares of the company, which owns the Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown brands, rose about 3 percent in premarket trading.

Estee Lauder reported an 8 percent rise in third-quarter sales from the Americas, its biggest market, while Asia Pacific sales rose 14 percent.

Sales rose 11 percent to $2.55 billion.

Sales growth is ahead of the category and large prestige beauty peers L'Oréal SA and LVMH indicating strong share gains for Estée Lauder in the period, Stifel Nicolaus analysts said.

Analysts had raised doubts about whether the luxury market can sustain the double-digit growth it has enjoyed in recent years, due to a slowdown in China.

"For the remainder of the fiscal year we also expect our growth will continue to be fueled by our success in high-growth channels and emerging markets", Estee Lauder Chief Executive Fabrizio Freda said.

Smaller rival Avon Products Inc on Thursday reported lower-than-expected quarterly results, hurt by a drop in sales in key markets such as Russia, the United States and Mexico.

Estee Lauder said net income attributable to the company rose to $213.2 million, or 54 cents per share, from $178.8 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 64 cents per share in the quarter ended March 31.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 55 cents per share on revenue of $2.49 billion. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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