What's Behind Energizer's (ENR) Losses Over Wednesday?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Energizer Holdings (ENR) was trading lower on Wednesday after releasing weaker-than-expected first-quarter results. The stock had taken off 6.2% to $95.82 by early afternoon.

First-quarter diluted earnings saw a 17% decrease to $1.71 a share in the December-ended quarter. Excluding acquisition charges, the battery maker recorded net income of $2.10 a share, four cents short of what analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected.

Quarterly revenue of $1.11 billion dropped 6.7% from the year-ago quarter as sales in its household products division continue to fall, while its personal-care segment faces increasingly stiff competition. Organic sales in household products (including its eponymous battery brand) dropped 10.3%, while personal-care organic sales tumbled 6.1%.

"We were disappointed by the sluggish top-line performance within our Personal Care Division. We believe heightened promotional activity over the past year has adversely impacted first quarter consumer demand and overall category volumes," said CEO Ward M. Klein in a statement.

Management said it expects these unfavorable trends to continue through to the first half of fiscal 2014. As such, the St. Louis-based business has lowered its financial outlook. Full-year earnings are expected between $7 and $7.25 a share, short of the $7.39 analysts had forecast. Organic sales are expected to fall in the low single-digits compared to previous outlook of flat sales.

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