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Tupperware 4Q Profit Slips

Charges dragged Tupperware Brands Corp.'s net income down 4 percent but strong sales helped lift adjusted results above analysts' expectations.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Charges dragged Tupperware Brands Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income down 4 percent but strong sales in markets such as Brazil and India helped lift adjusted results above analysts' expectations.

The seller of home, kitchen, beauty and personal care products also forecast full-year adjusted earnings above Wall Street's view and said Tuesday that it will raise and accelerating its stock buyback plan.

Tupperware earned $80.7 million, or $1.26 per share, for the period ended Dec. 25. That's down from $84.1 million, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges to write down the value of goodwill and other items, however, earnings rose to $1.38 per share from $1.22 per share.

Revenue climbed 5 percent to $655 million from $626 million, with 55 percent of sales coming from emerging markets. Some of the strongest markets included Brazil, India and the Philippines. In established markets, Tupperware said sales in Austria performed exceptionally well again this quarter, and U.S. and Canada sales also increased. Sales in Australia, Germany, and Japan declined.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected net income of $1.28 per share on revenue of $650 million.

For the full year, net income climbed 29 percent to $225.6 million, or $3.53 per share, from $175.1 million, or $2.75 per share, in the previous year. Adjusted earnings were $3.72 per share.

Annual revenue rose 8 percent to $2.3 billion from $2.13 billion.

Tupperware said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 81 cents to 86 cents per share, and 2011 adjusted earnings between $4.23 and $4.33 per share with revenue up 6 percent to 8 percent in local currency.

Analysts predict first-quarter earnings of 81 cents per share and full-year earnings of $4.14 per share, on average.

Tupperware boosted its buyback program to $600 million from $350 million and said it is speeding up stock repurchases with the use of each year's proceeds from stock option exercises, along with cash available at the end of the prior year. The company expects to repurchase $160 million worth of shares in 2011.

The Orlando, Fla.-based company also said that its board will likely evaluate its dividend rate annually in each year's first quarter, starting in 2012. Dividend increases will be expected to be about in line with profit increases.

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