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Estee Lauder results top expectations, ups outlook

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NEW YORK (AP) — Beauty products company Estee Lauder said Friday that its fiscal third-quarter net income climbed 19 percent, helped by strength in emerging markets and a prior-year shift in orders from some retailers.

Its adjusted profit and revenue topped analysts' estimates, and the beauty products company lifted its full-year earnings forecast.

Shares rose more than 3 percent in premarket trading.

President and CEO Fabrizio Freda said in a statement that the company's results "were driven by the broad global demand for our diverse prestige beauty brands, the strength of our emerging markets, accelerated growth in certain developed markets and solid progress in skin care."

For the three months ended March 31, Estee Lauder Cos. — whose brands include Clinique, Bobbi Brown and its namesake — earned $213.2 million, or 54 cents per share, up from $178.8 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Removing a Venezuela-related charge and other items, earnings were 64 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 55 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue for the New York company climbed 11 percent to $2.55 billion from $2.29 billion, led by increased sales of fragrances and skin care products. The year-ago shift in orders from some retailers gave a boost to results. Revenue increased 12 percent when stripping out the impact of foreign currency translation.

The latest revenue results topped the $2.49 billion Wall Street anticipated.

Sales improved across all regions, with Asia Pacific sales up 14 percent. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, sales rose 13 percent. Sales for the Americas increased 8 percent.

Estee Lauder's stock gained $2.41, or 3.3 percent, to $74.60 in premarket trading about 30 minutes before the market open.

Looking ahead, Estee Lauder foresees full-year adjusted earnings between $2.86 and $2.90 per share when excluding the Venezuela-related charge and accelerated retail orders. Its prior guidance was for $2.80 to $2.87 per share.

Revenue is expected to rise 6 percent to 7 percent. On a constant currency basis, revenue is predicted to climb 7 percent to 8 percent.

Analysts expect fiscal 2014 earnings of $2.87 per share.

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