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William Lauder Defends Dept. Stores as Group Net Soars 26%

Estée Lauder Cos. saw earnings rise 26.2 percent to $98.3 million in the third quarter, while sales rose 15.2 percent to $1.42 billion.

Skin care products reported a 10 percent rise, 4 percent excluding currency translation, to $559.1 million..

Hair care products rose 15 percent, or 13 percent in local currency, to $61.3 million. Fragrance sales increased 12 percent on a reported basis to $203.4 million, a 5 percent gain excluding currency translation effects. However, the company continues to experience weakness in the U.S. fragrance market.

For the nine months to date, earnings gained 8.7 percent to $271 million, or $1.17 a share. Excluding charges related to the discontinued Jane brands business, earnings were $1.31 a share. Comparatively, the company reported earnings of $249.2 million, or $1.06, in the corresponding nine-month period.

Sales advanced 13.2 percent to $4.39 billion from $3.88 billion.

The company once again upped its EPS guidance to between $1.59 and $1.62 for the year.
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