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Cosmetics Boost Revlon Profit; Stock Up 21%

Revlon (REV - Get Report) swung into profit in the first-quarter, surprising investors and sending shares soaring 21% in afternoon trading.

During the quarter, the company posted a profit of $12.7 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $2.5 million, or 5 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue declined 3% to $303.3 million from $311.7 million last year.

Sales in the U.S. rose 7.8% to $191 million, as demand grew for Revlon and Almay color cosmetics and Revlon ColorSilk hair color. U.S. retail sales of color cosmetics increased more than 9% during the quarter.

Growth was also driven by products including Revlon Age Defying Spa foundation, Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer and Revlon Creme Gloss and Revlon Matte lipstick -- all of which were launched earlier this year.

In the second half of this year, Revlon will launch more new products, including ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick, Revlon DoubleTwist Mascara, Revlon ColorStay Mineral Mousse Makeup and Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance Makeup.

During the quarter the company reduced debt by $38.3 million.

Shares of rival Bare Escentuals (BARE) flew 42% to $9.38 on Thursday, a day after the company reported that first-quarter earnings beat analysts' expectations by 4 cents.
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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