ST. LOUIS (AP) — Energizer Holdings Inc. said Thursday that its first-quarter net income fell 10 percent due to restructuring costs. Adjusted results beat expectations, helped partly by increased demand in batteries during Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath.

But shares fell in morning trading as the company said demand for batteries continued to decline, excluding the effect of the storm.

Energizer and other disposable battery makers are facing a decline in demand with more reusable, cost-effective products on the market. The global battery category fell 2 percent in volume during the quarter, excluding the impact of Sandy, according to Energizer.

The company is in the midst of a restructuring plan that includes job cuts and lowering overhead spending as part of its efforts to reduce costs and improve earnings.

Net income for the three months ended Dec. 31 fell to $129.8 million, or $2.07 per share, from $143.8 million, or $2.15 per share in the year-ago quarter. Excluding restructuring costs and a pension curtailment benefit, net income was $2.20 per share, topping analysts' expectations of $2.15 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue edged down less than 1 percent to $1.19 billion from nearly $2 billion in the prior year. Analysts expected $1.21 billion.

Personal care revenue, which includes Energizers Schick Hydro razors, fell 2 percent to $554.3 million. Household products, which include batteries, rose nearly 1 percent to $638.2 million. Energizer estimates it got an $18 million boost in sales from people stocking up on batteries during Superstorm Sandy in October.

The company reaffirmed guidance for 2013 net income of $6.75 to $7 per share, excluding restructuring costs. Analysts expect $6.79 per share.

Energizer shares fell $2.97, or 3.4 percent, to $85.28 in morning trading. The stock has ranged from $64.36 to $88.84 over the past 52 weeks.

 

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