Personal care appliance maker Helen of Troy Limited reported that projected sales for the fiscal fourth quarter, ending Feb. 28, 2005, are now expected to be a record fourth quarter sales of approximately U.S. $120 million versus sales of $113 million in the previous fourth quarter.
The company had previously forecasted sales in the fourth quarter to be within a range of $136 million to $146 million.
Helen of Troy said that fourth quarter sales were impacted by softer than expected holiday season sales across many categories of merchandise for certain retailers. This, in turn, resulted in lower sales by the company to these retailers in late January and early February as the customers lowered their overall inventory levels.
Sales in the later part of February have begun to return to our prior expected levels. The company has not lost any customers or channels of distribution and does not believe that the fourth quarter sales reductions will have a long-term impact on overall sales.
For the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2005, the company is forecasting to have record sales of approximately $574 million, a 21-percent increase over the prior year sales of $475 million.
Fourth quarter earnings guidance is revised to $0.35 to $0.45 per diluted share. The company had previously forecasted earnings of $0.58 to $0.63 per diluted share. Earnings are now expected to be in the range of $2.33 to $ 2.43 per diluted share, an increase of 20 to 25 percent from fiscal year 2004 earnings of $1.94 per diluted share.
Sales and earnings guidance for fiscal year 2006, ending Feb. 28, 2006, provided on Jan. 6, 2005, remains unchanged. Sales for next fiscal year, beginning March 1, 2005, are currently forecasted to be in the range of $645 to $660 million. The company also reaffirms its fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance of $2.90 to $3.00 per diluted share.
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