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Energizer shares reach new high


St. Louis, MO – Energizer Holdings' stock jumps 9% to a 52-week high Tuesday after the company reported profits that beat Wall Street expectations.

The maker of Energizer batteries and Schick-Wilkinson Sword shaving products reported net income of $122.3 million during the quarter. That's up from $120.5 million last year.

The earnings pushed Energizers stock up to $82.55 a share during morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Energizer CEO Ward Klein says the profits came even as raw material costs increased. Shares of Energizer Holdings Inc. rose to a new 52-week high Tuesday after the battery maker reported a higher first-quarter profit on stronger sales of batteries and Quattro razors and blades.

The stock rose $8.84, or 11.7%, to $84.44 after topping out at a new yearly high of $84.77 earlier in the session.

Energizer's profit rose to $122.3 million, or $2.08 per share, from $120.5 million, or $1.77 per share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings for the three months ended Dec. 31 were $2.12 per share, compared with $1.82 per share, excluding charges in the most recent quarter and the previous year for restructuring projects in Europe.

Revenue rose nearly 9% to $959.2 million from $882.4 million a year earlier. By segment, battery sales rose 5 percent in North America and more than 13 percent internationally, and sales of razors and blades increased 9 percent to $235.5 million.

"We are pleased with our first quarter results, as our robust sales growth helped offset higher zinc costs," said Chief Executive Ward M. Klein in a statement.

The results topped Wall Street expectations of $1.92 per share on sales of $917.8 million, according to Thomson Financial.

Looking ahead, Energizer said nickel, copper and other material costs in the battery segment will rise above last year's rates for at least the rest of 2007. The company anticipates unfavorable material costs of $65 million to $75 million for the balance of the fiscal year, compared to last year.

Goldman Sachs analyst Amy Low Chasen said Energizer's stock has had a very strong run recently, but the strong reported sales growth could still drive it further.