Bare Escentuals sales up in Q4

2/27/2009

SAN FRANCISCO Bare Escentuals, a maker of mineral makeup, experienced an increase in fourth quarter sales but does expect first quarter net sales to decline vs. the prior year due to the economy and a tightening of trade inventories that hurt first quarter shipments.

“As a result of the lower sell-in, we expect to see a meaningful decline in overall first quarter net sales vs. the prior year. However, our corresponding domestic retail sell-through for the quarter is trending positive to last year,” stated Myles McCormick, COO, CFO, Bare Escentuals. “We do expect that once our retail partners adjust to their more conservative inventory positions, shipments will again approximate the pace of retail sales. As such, we do not view first quarter net sales trends to be indicative of full year expectations”.

Due to this shift in purchasing behavior, the company expects first quarter net sales to decline in the teens on a percentage basis versus the prior year. Earnings per share during the first quarter are expected to be between 12 cents and 15 cents per diluted share.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 28, sales totaled $147.1 million, up 2% from $144.6 million in the year-ago period. Net income for the fourth quarter was $24.6 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, a decrease of 9% compared with $27 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

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