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Helen Of Troy Cuts Full Year Sales Outlook, Q3 Profit Tops View

Personal care products maker Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE: Quote) on Wednesday cut its full year sales forecast, citing hazy consumer spending patterns, after reporting a moderate increase in third-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates.

The firm expects earnings per share for the fiscal in the range of $3.50 to $3.60, but sees net sales revenue in the range of $1.275 billion to $1.3 billion, down from the previous forecast of $1.3 billion to $1.325 billion.

While reporting the second-quarter results in November, the company had trimmed its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast, maintaining its sales view.

On average, four analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $3.56 per share for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items. Wall Street has a consensus revenue estimate of $1.29 billion for the year.

Gerald Rubin, CEO, said, "While we are very pleased with our results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, we continue to see challenges ahead and are uncertain of the potential impact of changes in consumer spending patterns resulting from recent and pending domestic tax changes and Federal legislation.

Net income for the third quarter climbed to $37.72 million or $1.18 per share from $32.88 million or $1.04 per share in the previous year. Analysts expected earnings of $1.13 per share for the quarter.

Net sales revenue climbed 10.6 percent to $374.6 million from $338.79 million in the previous year. Analysts expected revenues of $379.23 million. Consolidated gross margin improved to 39.6 percent from 39.3 percent.

In the Housewares segment, revenue increased 10.7 percent to $67.79 million. Organic sales growth doubled due to a steady influx of new, innovative quality products under the OXO banner.

Healthcare/Home Environment revenues increased 23 percent to $158.17 million, helped by the acquisition of the PUR water filtration business on December 30, 2011.

Personal Care segment reported revenues of $148.64 million, a marginal drop from last year.

Gerald Rubin added, ''In fact, this was the best quarter in the Company's history in terms of net sales and net income. We are pleased that we were able to achieve growth in net sales revenue, net income and EBITDA without share-based compensation in such a challenging retail sales environment.''

HELE closed at $33.53 on Tuesday.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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