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WD-40 Co. Profit Tops Estimate; Stock Up - Update

Consumer products company WD-40 Co. (WDFC), Thursday reported a decline in profit for the second quarter, on higher expenses as sales grew modestly. Nevertheless, quarterly earnings topped Wall Street estimates, while sales fell short of expectations, due mainly to weak U.S. demand for homecare and cleaning products.

Moving forward to fiscal year 2013, the company raised its earnings outlook to reflect a lower share count, even as sales expectations remain unchanged.

Shares of the company gained over 5 percent in after-hours trade on the Nasdaq.

The San Diego-based company posted quarterly net income of $10.46 million, down from $10.58 million last year. On a per share basis, earnings were $0.66, compared to $0.65 a year ago, reflecting a lower share count.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.56 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Sales for the quarter edged up to $86.7 million from $86 million a year ago, while analysts estimated revenues of $87.37 million.

Multipurpose maintenance products sales rose 6 percent from last year and accounted for most of the business.

Homecare and cleaning products sales were down 23 percent. The company noted that sales in this category in the U.S., which churns out healthy profits, are becoming a smaller part of the business. The company is continuing to evaluate strategic alternatives for this business in the Americas segment.

Results were mainly impacted by expenses that climbed to $29.7 million from $27.4 million in the prior year, and includes a seven percent rise in advertising costs.

For fiscal year 2013, the company expects earnings of $2.32 to $2.42 per share, based on an estimated 15.7 million weighted average shares outstanding. Earlier it was estimated in the range of $2.31 to $2.40 per share based on an estimated 15.8 million weighted average shares outstanding. Sales are still estimated between $356 million and $370 million.

Analysts currently estimate earnings of $2.37 per share on sales of $358.17 million for 2013.

Shares of the company closed Thursday at $52.82, up 1.83%. In after hours, the stock gained 5.72%.

by RTT Staff Writer

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