US corporate results round-up

Avon slashes payout after earnings drop

AVON slashed its dividend by nearly 74 per cent yesterday, while also announcing measures to cut costs by at least $400m within three years in moves designed to shore up its finances while its new chief executive officer works on a turnaround.

The company also reported a steep plunge in third-quarter earnings, hurt by higher product costs and unfavourable exchange rates.

Avon reported a net profit of $31.6m, or seven cents per share, compared with $164.2m, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell to $2.55bn from $2.76bn.

Yelp reveals a loss but meets forecasts

YELP last night reported a third-quarter loss, but posted sales that were in line with its recently revised outlook as the online review and recommendation company highlighted its growth in local businesses and mobile usage of its service.

Yelp said that for the quarter ended 30 September, it lost $2m, or three cents a share, on revenue of $36.4m, compared with a loss of $3.8m, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $22.3m in the same period a year ago.

Average monthly unique visitors were 84m up 37 per cent year over the year.

Estee Lauder lowers top end of sales view

ESTEE Lauder yesterday lowered the top end of its full-year sales forecast, pointing to uncertainty in some key markets.

The company, known for brands such as La Mer and MAC, now expects sales this year will rise six per cent to seven per cent on a constant currency basis, compared with an earlier forecast of a range of six per cent to eight per cent. Still, Estee Lauder reported a higher than expected quarterly profit, with net profit of $299.5m, or 76 cents a share, in the first quarter, ended 30 September, compared with $278.6m, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier.

Kellogg boosted by demand for Pringles

KELLOGG reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit yesterday as strong performance in its Pringles business offset costs related to a recall last month of Mini-Wheats.

The world’s largest cereal maker reported net income of $296m, or 82 cents per share, for the third quarter, compared with $290m, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

The results included four cents per share in integration costs related to the acquisition of Pringles.

Analysts on average were expecting 80 cents per share.

Madagascar 3 lifts Dreamworks income

DREAMWORKS Animation SKG last night posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by the success of its latest movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” in international markets.

Net income rose to $24.4m, or 29 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $19.7m, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 16 per cent to $186.3m.

The company said Madagascar 3, which was released in June, raked in nearly $720m worldwide, of which 70 per cent was from international markets.