Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. (PG: Quote) reported Friday a profit for the fourth quarter that increased 45 percent from last year as higher input costs and a sales decline were more than offset by a gain from snack business sale. The results were also benefited from cost savings and price increases.
Stripping down the gain and charges associated with productivity and cost savings plan, profit remained flat with last year and topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates by a whisker.
The company also provided a weak outlook for the first quarter, while maintaining its core earnings guidance for the full-year 2013, and said it will repurchase $4 billion in P&G stock over the course of the fiscal year.
Sales for the quarter declined 1 percent to $20.21 billion from last year, but missed eighteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $20.29 billion by a whisker. Foreign exchange reduced net sales by 4 percent. Excluding foreign exchange impact, sales at four of the company's five operating businesses increased, while one remained flat.
Beauty care net sales decreased 4 percent to $4.8 billion, grooming net sales declined 6 percent to $2.0 billion, and health care net sales dropped 1 percent to $2.9 billion from last year.Fabric care and home care net sales declined 1 percent to $6.6 billion, while baby care and family care net sales increased one percent to $4.1 billion from a year ago.
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based maker of Tide detergents, Crest toothpaste and Gillette shaving razors reported net earnings of $3.63 billion or $1.24 per share for the fourth quarter, higher than $2.51 billion or $0.84 per share in the prior-year quarter.
The company divested its Snacks business to Kellogg Co. (K) during the quarter, which resulted in a net after tax gain of $0.48 per share. Excluding the gain, net earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.74, including non-core charges of $0.08 per share.
The company said core earnings, which excludes certain items, remained flat with last year at $0.82 per share. On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.77 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
For fiscal 2012, net earnings per share declined 7 percent to $3.66; excluding items, core earnings per share edged down 1 percent to $3.85 from last year. Net sales for the year increased 3 percent to $83.7 billion from last year.
The company said in February that it is targeting productivity and cost savings of about $10 billion by 2016.
Looking ahead to the first quarter of fiscal 2013, P&G expects core earnings in a range of $0.91 to $0.97 per share, on a projected net sales decline of 6 to 4 percent. Analysts are now looking for earnings of $1.03 per share for the quarter, on revenues of $21.29 billion.
For fiscal 2013, the company said it maintains its preliminary core earnings outlook in a range of $3.80 to $4.00 per share, with sales projected to be between flat and down 2 percent from fiscal 2012 sales.
Street is currently looking for full-year 2013 earnings of $3.88 per share, on annual revenues of $84.56 billion.
PG closed Thursday's regular trading session at $63.51, down $0.14 on a volume of 8.75 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $57.56 to $67.95.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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