Why Elizabeth Arden Shares Crashed

Why Elizabeth Arden Shares Crashed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of cosmetics company Elizabeth Arden plummeted 19% today after its quarterly results and outlook missed Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has slumped in recent months on skepticism over its turnaround prospects, and today's fourth-quarter numbers -- adjusted EPS fell 63% year over year on a revenue increase of just 0.8% -- coupled with downbeat guidance only reinforce that doubt. While the company called 2013 a "transitional year" as it worked to make over its namesake brand, the results suggest that the restructuring struggles will carry well into 2014, as well.

Now what: Management now sees full-year 2014 EPS of $2.15 to $2.30, well below the average analyst estimate of $2.85. "I am confident that with the acquisitions and restructuring activities, including those associated with the Elizabeth Arden brand repositioning, behind us and more conservative forward guidance, we will return to systematic improvement in gross margins, EBITDA margins and return on invested capital," said Chairman and CEO E. Scott Beattie. Given the company's still-hefty debt load and weakening competitive position, however, I wouldn't be so quick to bet on that bullish talk.

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