Avon Products (AVP)
Company Profile: New York City-based Avon Products is a global manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products. Its product categories are Beauty, Fashion and Home.Avon announced a 4.5% increase to its quarterly cash dividend. The new rate will be 23 cents per share, payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on Feb. 17, bringing Avon's dividend yield going forward to around 3.1%. On Feb. 8, Avon posted disappointing fourth-quarter earnings on slower sales in China and the number of representatives selling its products in the emerging market. Avon Products said net profit dropped 14.8% to $229.5 million, or 53 cents per share. Adjusted for one-time losses of around $58 million, or 9 cents per share, related to restructuring charges, Avon earned $259 million, or 59 cents per share. Avon's revenue, which rose 1% to $3.14 billion, also came in shy of expectations for top-line sales of $3.28 billion, reflecting service disruptions in Brazil and sluggish sales in Russia, as well as weakness in China. Avon had cautioned investors on Feb. 1 it would record those restructuring charges, which involved an overhaul of the beauty products maker's business in China. Avon conducted an internal investigation of its operations in the region following allegations of bribery. -- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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