Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter loss because of declining sales and a large impairment charge.

The Azuza cosmetics maker said its net loss was $24.5 million (-$1.80 a share), compared with net income of $4.87 million (33 cents) a year ago. Net sales for the quarter fell 17 percent to $28.2 million. The company took goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges totaling $32.7 million.

Excluding the charges, net income would have been 13 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share on revenue of $29.6 million.

For the full 2008 fiscal year, the company had a net loss of $19.8 million (-$1.41), compared to net income of $8.75 million (60 cents) in 2007. Net sales rose 2 percent to $114 million. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of 44 cents on revenue of more than $115 million.

Physicians Formula said tight inventory control by retailers had lowered orders for its new products more than expected, particularly in the second half of the quarter. Given weak consumer spending, the company declined to provide guidance on net sales and earnings going forward.

"We expect 2009 will continue to be a very challenging retail environment for our industry," Chief Executive Ingrid Jackel said in a statement.

Physicians Formula shares were up 12 cents, or nearly 7 percent, to $1.88 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

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