Energizer Profit Handily Beats Expectations

Energizer Holdings Inc. (ENR), the No. 2 U.S. battery and razor maker, said Tuesday quarterly profit rose, blowing by expectations, helped by sales of replacement blades and its namesake batteries.

Profit climbed to $121.7 million, or $1.62 per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $115 million, or $1.32 per share, a year earlier. Excluding tax benefits, profit was $1.24 per share in the year-ago period.

Analysts had expected Energizer to earn $1.30 to $1.43 per share, with a mean target of $1.38, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of Energizer jumped almost 16 percent to $55.70 in morning trading, their highest level since the company went public in 2000. The shares were last up $7.03, or about 14.6 percent, at $55.13 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

"We were frankly blindsided by the magnitude of the beat, and remain perplexed by the company's longer-term brand building strategy, but today's results show what this company can manufacture if they want to," Deutsche Bank analyst William Schmitz said in a research note.

Schmitz kept his "hold" rating on Energizer but raised his share price target to $46 from $41.

St. Louis-based Energizer said sales rose 8 percent to $875.9 million, including the effect of the weaker dollar, which boosts the value of sales outside the United States.

In North America, battery sales rose 4 percent to $386.4 million. While volume grew for Energizer Max (search), lithium and rechargeable batteries, that rise was partially offset by lower prices of non-Energizer branded products and the move to larger pack sizes.

Razor and blade sales jumped 12 percent to $228.2 million, helped by the weaker dollar and higher volumes of Quattro and Intuition refill blades.

Energizer did not give any detailed financial outlook in a press release, but Chief Executive Ward Klein said the company was pleased about its portfolio and overall position.