UPDATE 2-Prestige Brands Q4 profit tops market estimates

jueves 15 de mayo de 2008 19:45 CEST

(Recasts; adds conference call details, updates share movement)

May 15 (Reuters) - Prestige Brands Holdings Inc (PBH.N: Cotización), a maker of healthcare, personal care and household products, posted quarterly earnings above market estimates, and said it is looking to sell its personal care segment and certain small over-the-counter brands.

The company's shares had fallen to a low of $8.47 earlier but rebounded and were up more than 4 percent at $9 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock had risen 15 percent so far this year before Thursday's gains.

For the fourth quarter, Prestige Brands posted a nearly 24 percent rise in profit helped by a dip in expenses and higher sales at its healthcare and household products segments.

It earned $10.4 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $8.4 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose 3 percent to $80.4 million.

Analysts had expected earnings of 19 cents a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $80.5 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total operating expenses fell marginally to $16.4 million from $16.6 million.

Irvington, New York-based Prestige, which competes with larger rivals like Procter & Gamble (PG.N: Cotización) and Clorox (CLX.N: Cotización), said sales at its healthcare and household products segments rose 7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Revenue from the personal care segment, which is the smallest of all segments, was 22 percent lower from a year earlier.   Continuación...