(Adds details, estimates)
Feb 15 (Reuters) - Avon Products Inc on Thursday reported quarterly sales that fell short of analysts' estimates, as fewer shoppers purchased products from the cosmetic maker's shrinking army of sales representatives.
The number of Avon Ladies - representatives who have sold products door to door since it was founded in 1886 - dropped by 2 percent during the quarter.
"Our top line remains under pressure as we continue to operate in challenging macro and competitive conditions, particularly in our largest markets," Chief Financial Officer Jamie Wilson said.
However, excluding one-time items, Avon earned 12 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 7 cents.
Net income attributable to the company was $91.5 million, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $10.7 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
The latest quarter benefited from a $30 million tax gain related to the recent overhaul of the U.S. tax code.
Net sales remained flat at $1.57 billion compared to the previous year, missing the average analyst estimate of $1.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)