Tickers in this Article: TUP, AVP, BRK.A, BRK.B, SLE
The recent market downturn has many investors on the lookout for companies that might be able to withstand a double-dip recession. Based on its stellar performance through the credit crisis and international focus, Tupperware (NYSE:TUP) may be one of those firms. Investopedia Markets: Explore the best one-stop source for financial news, quotes and insights.

Company Overview
Tupperware's principal focus (70% of sales) is on selling storage and serving products for the kitchen and home but it also sells beauty and personal care products (30% of sales). Rivals in each space include Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) Pampered Chef, which competes on the high end of the kitchen products category, and Avon Products (NYSE:AVP), which sells beauty products. Tupperware boosted its beauty care capabilities by acquiring the competing division of Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) back in 2005.

Tupperware relies on a giant sales force of 2.6 million individuals that qualify as its independent sales force. An impressive 88% of sales reside outside of the U.S., with 56% of sales in emerging markets. It has operated overseas for a couple of decades now, with more than 20 countries served since 1992. (For more on emerging markets, see What Is An Emerging Market Economy?)

Recent Results
Reported sales for Tupperware's second quarter jumped 18.5% to $669.9 million. The South American region reported the strongest growth at 57% and was followed by 28% growth in the Asia Pacific region. European growth was also strong at 20% while Tupperware sales in North America advanced a respectable 8%. Beauty in North America saw sales fall 3% and was the only area to post a decline. Overall, positive currency fluctuations accounted for 10 percentage points of the overall growth, though overall trends were still robust in nearly every region.

Modest raw material cost and administrative expense increases helped push operating income ahead by 32% to $105.7 million. A large rise in interest expense tempered the net income increase to 12.4%, or $65.1 million. Earnings came in at $1.03 per diluted share.

During the second quarter financial release, management said it expected sales to increase between 14 and 16% for the full year, with positive currency movements accounting for seven percentage points of the increase. Its earnings guidance was between $4.14 and $4.24 for year-over-year growth in a range of 17% and 20%.

The Bottom Line
Tupperware's expectations for the full year are right in line with its growth trends in recent years. Over the past five years, sales growth has averaged more than 12% annually while average profits are up more than 20% annually. And by looking solely at Tupperware's historical financials, one would not be able to even notice that the credit crisis occurred. Over the past three years, average sales growth has been more modest at just over 8% annually, but average profits are up by nearly 24% annually. (For more on the credit crisis, see 5 Signs Of A Credit Crisis.)

Tupperware sees these growth levels continuing going forward. Its long-range outlook, provided in a company presentation from September 1, expects 6 to 8% local currency growth while management plans to continue to leverage this into stronger earnings gains through cost controls and other efficiencies that rising sales allow for.

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