Newell's sales slip but profit soars

Newell Rubbermaid said its third quarter profit jumped about 54 percent -- even though sales fell -- largely because of cost cuts and the elimination of some product lines.

The Sandy Springs-based consumer products giant, whose brands include Sharpie and Paper Mate pens and Calphalon cookware, on Wednesday reported net profit of $85.5 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $55.6 million or 20 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

The results include restructuring costs and other charges. Excluding those, the company had a per-share profit of 38 cents, ahead of Wall Street's expectations.

Sales in the quarter, however, fell 17 percent to $1.45 billion. The company attributed the decline to the weak economy, currency fluctuations and pulling out of less profitable categories.

"I am pleased that we delivered third quarter earnings and cash flow ahead of guidance despite expected revenue declines stemming from sustained challenges in the economy," Newell chief executive Mark Ketchum said in a statement.