Estée Lauder Companies shares slid 0.6% in premarket trading Monday, after the cosmetics and beauty company posted stronger-than-expected profit for its fiscal third quarter but sales that missed estimates. The company posted net income of $456 million, or $1.24 a share, in the quarter to March 31, after a loss of $6 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year=-earlier period. Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, the company’s adjusted EPS came to $1.59, ahead of the $1.32 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $3.86 billion from $3.35 billion a year ago, but were below the FactSet consensus of $3.94 billion. “We exceeded our sales and earnings expectations, even as several markets experienced increasing pressure from COVID-19 throughout the quarter,” Chief Executive Fabrizio Freda said in a statement. The resurgence of COVID-19 cases in several countries, particularly in Western Europe and Latin America, led to government restrictions to prevent further spread of the virus, he said. The company is now expecting fiscal 2021 sales to grow 11% to 12% and for adjusted EPS to range from $6.05 to $6.15. The FactSet consensus is for adjusted EPS of $6.01. Shares have gained 18% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.
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