Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Estée Lauder products are displayed at a cosmetics counter in Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2019.

LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters

Estée Lauder Cos Inc missed analysts’ estimates for quarterly sales on Monday, as weak demand for its luxury foundations and lipsticks offset growth at the cosmetics maker’s skincare brands, with people continuing to work from home.

The company’s shares, which touched a record high last week, fell nearly 7 per cent.

Sales of cosmetics and makeup products have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers stay at home, pressuring Estee Lauder’s M.A.C and Bobbi Brown brands.

Story continues below advertisement

Lockdowns in certain parts of Western Europe also hampered demand for luxury makeup products, with Estee Lauder’s net sales declining across much of the region, notably in the United Kingdom and Spain.

Sales at Estee Lauder’s skin care segment jumped 31 per cent, while sales at its makeup segment fell 11 per cent.

Total net sales rose 16 per cent to $3.86 billion for the third quarter ended March 31, but missed Refinitiv IBES estimates.

“The sales miss was surprising, given the momentum in the business exiting the December quarter,” Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said.

Estee Lauder has been doubling down on its investments in skincare fueled by a pandemic-led shift from makeup to self-care and the company remains optimistic about a rebound in makeup demand.

Chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda told analysts the company was preparing for “a renaissance in (global) makeup”, having seen the division show higher sales in Australia, China and Israel, countries which have returned to relative normalcy.

Rival L’Oreal said last month it was seeing signs of a comeback in makeup sales.

Story continues below advertisement

Estee Lauder forecast fourth-quarter sales to grow between 44 per cent and 50 per cent on constant currency terms. Analysts had expected sales to rise 48.16 per cent.

The company said it expects a fourth-quarter profit of between 38 cents and 48 cents per share, below estimates of 62 cents.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies