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Should You Buy It?: No Zap in Energizer

Editor's note: Friday, Jan. 30, David Peltier will be on Stockpickr Answers throughout the trading day to respond to questions posed by members of the Stockpickr community. Not a member? Join the Stockpickr community today -- for free.

Energizer (ENR) shares have been on a wild ride of late. At Wednesday's closing price of $49.42, the stock is down 9% year-to-date, but up a full 60% from its November lows.

The company is one of the leading battery producers in the world. Energizer also generates about 40% of its sales from personal care brands including Playtex and Schick.

The company posted mixed fiscal first-quarter (ended December) results on Jan. 27. Energizer earned $1.93 a share, which was a full 20 cents above the consensus analyst estimate. On the other hand, revenue fell 12% from the previous year to $1.04 billion, coming in $40 million short of expectations. Even so, the gross margin improved 200 basis points from the previous year.

Management beat profit expectations primarily because of lower input costs and a smaller foreign currency effect than expected. Energizer generates nearly half of its sales overseas. The company also cut advertising spending by 22% from the previous year, which could hurt further earnings growth at the expense of trying to boost near-term earnings.

The stock has reacted well to the numbers, gaining 12% in two sessions since the quarterly report. With that in mind, I'm here to answer readers' questions: Should you buy it? Does Energizer still hold value at current levels, or should investors avoid chasing the stock?
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