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Church & Dwight Sees FY20 Earnings Below Estimates; Hikes Dividend

While reporting its financial results for the fourth quarter on Friday, Church & Dwight Co, Inc. (CHD) provided its financial outlook for the first quarter and fiscal 2020 as well as increased its quarterly dividend by 5 percent.

For the first quarter, the company forecast reported sales growth of about 6.5 percent, organic sales growth of about 3.0 percent, and gross margin expansion.

The company projects first-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.73 per share, representing a 4 percent increase over the year-ago period, which excludes the earn-out adjustment from the company's acquisition of the Flawless business.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $0.76 per share for the quarter on sales growth of 7.4 percent to $1.12 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

For fiscal 2020, Church & Dwight forecast adjusted earnings of $2.64 to $2.69 per share, an increase of 7 percent to 9 percent; reported sales growth of about 6.5 percent, and organic sales growth of about 3.5 percent.

The Street expects earnings of $2.69 per share for the year on revenue growth of 6 percent to $4.62 billion.

The company's board of directors declared a 5.5 percent increase in the regular quarterly dividend from $0.2275 to $0.24 per share, equivalent to an annual dividend of $0.96 per share. This raises the annual dividend payout from $224 million to approximately $237 million.

The quarterly dividend will be payable March 2, 2020 to stockholders of record at the close of business on February 14, 2020.

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