AptarGroup’s third-quarter profit rises 40%

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:04 p.m.

AptarGroup Inc.’s third-quarter earnings rose 40% to beat views, but the product-dispenser maker was downbeat about earnings for the current quarter because of dollar strength and a tough comparison.

The company predicted profit of 53 cents to 58 cents per share, compared with the average estimate for 62 cents among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

AptarGroup Chief Executive Peter Pfeiffer said the year-earlier period sets up a tough comparison because of a rebound in its markets and a strong euro last year.

The company — which makes pump dispensers for perfumes, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and dispensing systems for food and drinks–has rebounded on improving consumer spending, after the economic downturn weakened demand for discretionary items like perfume and makeup. Lately, the absence of inventory destocking that plagued the prior year has also buoyed results.

AptarGroup posted a profit of $47 million, or 68 cents a share, up from $33.5 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. In July, the company forecast profit of 61 cents to 66 cents per share, above analysts expectations at the time.

Revenue increased 9.3 percent to $517.5 million. Analysts predicted $505 million.

Gross margin climbed to 33.8 percent from 32.3 percent.

Sales and earnings increased in all the company’s segments. Its beauty and home segment, which makes pumps and aerosol valves, posted an 11 percent increase in sales, while income jumped 82 percent.

AptarGroup shares closed Wednesday up 2.2 percent at $47.39 and weren’t active after hours. The stock, which has been trading at all-time highs, is up 33 percent so far this year.

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