Declining sales force, revenue send Avon shares tumbling

Shares in Avon Products plunged 20 percent as sales at the cosmetics company continued a long slide and the number of people selling them declined.

There were 2 percent fewer people selling Avon products during the quarter.

Sales have declined every year since 2012, and fell 8 percent in 2016.

For the fourth quarter, Avon reported a loss of $10.7 million, or 4 cents per share.

Adjusted for expenses, the company made one penny per share, far worse than the per-share earnings of 9 cents that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Its revenue of $1.57 billion was just short of the $1.6 billion industry analysts had projected.

In early 2016, the company initiated a three-year plan to revitalize the brand and cut costs. In March, it announced 2,500 job cuts and said that it would move its headquarters from New York to Great Britain.

On Thursday, Avon said that it had realized an estimated $120 million of savings last year. It said that it exceeded its goal of cutting $250 million in debt by $10 million.

For the year, the company reported that its loss narrowed to $107.6 million, or 29 cents per share. Revenue was $5.72 billion.


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