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Tupperware Profits Overflow

The kitchenware maker soars on a solid fourth-quarter earnings beat.
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A veritable


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party erupted Wednesday after the kitchenware maker squashed Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter. Shares surged as high as 26%.

The Orlando, Fla., company, which also sells beauty and personal-care products through non-Tupperware brands, said it made $58.8 million, or 93 cents a share, excluding one-time items -- up 28.9% from last year's adjusted earnings of $45.6 million, or 74 cents a share. Revenue surged 18.6% year over year to $576.9 million.

Those results fly past the average analyst estimate of 80 cents a share on a top line of $532.1 million. Even the company itself, in its October outlook, had predicted a profit of just 78 cents to 83 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Contributing to a tremendous portion of the income leap, most profoundly in its European segment, were stronger foreign currency rates. Overall, said Tupperware, this was responsible for a dime's worth of EPS growth.

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Stripping out rising local-currency strength -- especially in emerging markets like Russia, Turkey and South Africa (the latter of which is indeed included in European results) -- that segment's sales rose just 6%. But, factoring in those effects, it pulled in 19% more revenue than it did a year earlier, making it by far this quarter's most profitable Tupperware segment.

Similarly, the Asia Pacific segment saw 24% sales growth even though that derived from a local-currency climb of just 16%.

As for Tupperware's North American businesses, for which currency effects were only minimally beneficial, the company's self-named products brought in 12% more revenue year over year. Coming in higher by a single percentage point was the North American beauty segment, which comprises a much more sizable portion of Tupperware's overall revenue stream.

Finally, Tupperware's international beauty business was pushed into a small loss thanks to purchase-account amortization, but that was excluded from Tupperware's adjusted profit results.

The company is sanguine on coming-year financials, offering predictions that its growing sales force will help propel adjusted income to between $2.50 and $2.60 a share vs. $1.79 in 2007. Analysts are seeking just $2.32 a share for all of 2008.

Including currency effects, which are expected to add 3 percentage points' worth of growth, full-year revenue should climb 8% to 10%, said the company. That suggests a range of between $2.14 billion and $2.18 billion against the Street's $2.04 billion projections.

And current-quarter earnings, pegged at between 44 cents and 49 cents a share on an adjusted basis, would beat the current consensus by at least a penny.

Tupperware shares closed up $5.13, or 17.7%, to $34.55.