Analyst hails Estee Lauder turn around, but downgrades

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Estée lauder Stock Stock market

Despite a huge turn around in its fortunes, a leading industry
analyst has downgraded Estee Lauder following a big leap in its
share price.

UBS analyst Nik Modi, said that a rise of 28 percent in the share price since it bottomed out in January has seen it rebound 'too high… too fast', according to a report by Associated Press.

With global stock markets in a highly volatile state because of the credit crunch, companies that are performing well are seeing their share prices rally, while those under-performing are losing value rapidly.

Shares closed yesterday at $46.02 on the NYSE, after dipping to a $38 dollar 12-month low in January of this year.

Decision to downgrade 'difficult' However, in his investor report, Modi did stress that his decision to downgrade had been a difficult one, and was also based on the current market conditions.

He also stressed that he had continued confidence in Estee Lauder's long-term outlook, suggesting his belief that the company's recent turn around is sustainable.

Modi also stated his belief that the company would be able to improve its margins by at least 2 percent in the course of the next four years, adding that it also had the potential to 'greatly exceed' this forecast.

Back in February, Estee Lauder released second quarter results that pointed to the company bucking its downward trend thanks to growth in developing markets and an improved performance in the domestic market.

Developing markets drive results Quarterly sales on a reported basis rose 16 percent on the back of strong performances in China, Turkey, Russia and Australia to reach $2.31bn, compared to the same period last year.

Likewise the company referred to 'a favorable currency environment' helping to boost already strong results in a number of the key overseas markets, in turn pushing profits upwards.

Sales for the Americas region grew by 8.9 percent to reach $1.03bn, up from $944.0m for the same period a year earlier.

At the time the results were published, CEO William Lauder said he was confident that, given the current economic conditions and strong sales in overseas environments, the company would be able to weather the storm in the coming months.

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