Avon Meets, Guides In Line

The cosmetics company posts strong overseas growth as U.S. sales slide.
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Avon Products

(AVP) - Get Report

posted a solid gain in fourth-quarter profit as strong overseas markets compensated for a slump in U.S. sales.

Net income rose 11% to $288.8 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $261.3 million, or 55 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2003. Charges and gains offset each other in the quarter. Analysts expected 61 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Sales of beauty products drove the quarterly gains, increasing 16%.

U.S. sales decreased 5%. Sales in Europe jumped 26%, while those In Latin America rose 12%.

Looking ahead, the company expects first-quarter EPS of 35 cents and full-year EPS of $1.95 to $2.00. The consensus estimates are 35 cents and $1.98, respectively.