Battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc.’ stock ENR fell 1.8% premarket Tuesday, after the company returned to a profit for its fiscal fourth quarter from a loss a year ago, but offered guidance that lagged estimates. The company swung to a profit of $19.7 million, or 27 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter to Sept. 30, from a loss of $362.9 million, or $5.09 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.20, ahead of the $1.13 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $811.1 million from $790.4 million a year ago, also ahead of the $795.0 million FactSet consensus. Gross margin rose to 37.9%, up 380 basis points from a year ago, driven by benefits from the company’s Project Momentum cost-savings program. “As we look ahead, we expect macroeconomic uncertainty to persist in 2024,” said Chief Executive Mark LaVigne in a statement. The company is now expecting fiscal 2024 adjusted EPS of $3.10 to $3.30, compared with a FactSet consensus of $3.36. It expects organic revenue to be flat to down low single digits. For the first quarter, the company expects organic revenue to be down 6% to 8%, hurt by projected category trends and the shift in timing of holiday orders that occurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023. “Due to this decline in sales, we expect adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.50 to $0.60, said the company, which compares with a FactSet consensus of 86 cents. The stock is up 0.2% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 15%.
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