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Helen of Troy posts Q1 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL PASO, Texas — Helen of Troy, a marketer of brand-name products, including Vidal Sassoon, Pro Beauty Tools, Bed Head and Brut, posted a boost in first-quarter sales and is off to a “solid start” for fiscal year 2014, the company announced.

Net sales revenue increased 1.4% to $304.5 million compared with $300.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013.

Net income was $14.4 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, which compares with net income of $23.5 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

“We are off to a solid start in fiscal year 2014. Growth in our housewares and healthcare/home environment segments led to a net sales revenue increase for the company, and we managed expenses well to deliver a 6.5% increase in adjusted EBITDA (EBITDA without non-cash asset impairment charges and non-cash share-based compensation) and a 10.8% increase in adjusted diluted EPS (diluted earnings per share without non-cash asset impairment charges),” stated Gerald Rubin, chairman, CEO and president.

“We continue to focus on innovation and are excited about our upcoming product launches in the baking and food storage categories in our housewares segment and in the water filtration portion of our healthcare/home environment segment. Our balance sheet remains strong and provides us with excellent flexibility to pursue our growth strategies. We remain comfortable with our outlook and in our ability to deliver on the objectives we have set for ourselves this year,” Rubin added.

For fiscal year 2014, the company expects net sales revenue in the range of $1.29 billion to $1.32 billion. The company expects adjusted diluted EPS to be in the range of $3.50 to $3.60, which is consistent with the company’s previous guidance. The earnings guidance reflects the negative impact of the difficult retail environment, a conservative approach to the cold/cough/flu season, product cost increases across all segments and an increase in non-cash compensation expense for the company’s CEO.

In addition, the company expects capital expenditures for fiscal year 2014 to be in the range of $40 million to $45 million, with approximately $33 million related to the completion of its new 1.3 million square foot distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss.
 

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Telemonitoring of blood pressure patients by pharmacists results in better control than physician office visits, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmacists remotely monitoring patients helped them achieve better blood-pressure control than physicians in usual care, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, used a telemonitoring system made by AMC Health and enrolled 450 patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. About half of the patients monitored their blood pressure from home at least six times per week for a year, and then sent the readings electronically to pharmacists who provided lifestyle advice and adjusted their medications. The rest of the participants were placed in a control group that received traditional treatments from physicians.

At the end of the the year, the study found 71.2% of patients using telemonitoring had their blood pressure under control, compared with 52.8% of patients in the control group. In a follow-up six months later, 71.8% of patients in the telemonitoring group continued to have their blood pressure under control, compared with 57.1% of those seeing physicians. The study also found significantly greater confidence among telemonitoring patients in their ability to communicate with their healthcare team, integrate home blood pressure monitoring in their weekly routine, follow medication regimens and keep blood pressure under control.

 

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PharmaSmart Smart Card conforms to NCPDP’s Billing Unit Standard, company says

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A system for confidentially storing patients’ biometric data on a card made by PharmaSmart International has been added to several national drug databases, which the company said would aid support for hypertension patients among healthcare providers, health plans and pharmacists.

PharmaSmart, based in Rochester, N.Y., said its Smart Card product had been named as conforming to NCPDP’s billing unit standard.

"We are pleased to have our Smart Card conform with NCPDP’s BUS to ensure accurate billing and reimbursement and also have our core patient care tool listed in national drug and device compendia," PharmaSmart SVP strategic business development Josh Sarkis said. "This allows us to more easily connect providers, health plans and pharmacists in the collaborative support of hypertension patients."

The NCPDP Work Group 2 Product Identification adjudicated a billing unit for the card to confirm to BUS, allowing for uniform listing of its billing unit among the national drug databases to facilitate consistent and accurate billing and reimbursement.

 

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