Alexander Coolidge reports:
Procter & Gamble reported a $3 billion profit Friday for the quarter ended Sept. 30 – up 8 percent from a year ago.
The Cincinnati-based consumer products giant said sales rose 2 percent to $21.2 billion, delivering slightly higher revenues than analyst forecasts.
“P&G’s first quarter results were consistent with our plans and expectations, putting us on track to deliver our goals for the fiscal year,” said CEO A.G. Lafley, in a statement.
Wall Street analysts had expected the company profit to top $3 billion profit on sales of $21.1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Excluding one-time items, P&G posted $1.05 earnings per diluted share – meeting expectations.
Last year, P&G posted a $2.8 billion profit on sales of $20.7 billion in the same period.
Analysts were upbeat, but noted P&G still had more ground to cover to deliver consistent sales and profit growth.
“Sales growth of 4 percent at the high-end of full-year expectations, is encouraging – particularly given fears of slowing trends in the U.S. and in developing markets,” wrote Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan, in a note to investors.
“While encouraged by these results, particularly the continued healthy organic sales and volume performance, we believe the necessary improvements at P&G will take time,” wrote Oppenheimer analyst Joseph Altobello, in a note to investors.
P&G stuck with its fiscal year guidance to grow organic sales (revenues excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures) by 3 to 4 percent and core earnings (excluding one-time items) by 5 to 7 percent.
For the latest quarter, P&G grew organic sales by 4 percent. Baby and fabric care units led growth with 6 percent organic sales each, while the health care unit was flat, hampered by pet food business hit with recalls.
Beauty and grooming business units each notched 1 percent organic sales growth.
P&G shrugged off emerging market woes: organic sales grew 2 percent in the U.S., but rose 8 percent in developing markets.
The company continued to repurchase its stock, acquiring $2.5 billion during the quarter.
P&G did not update the number of non-manufacturing jobs that have been cut through its $10 billion restructuring program. The company cut 7,000 office jobs between February 2012 and June 2013. Chief financial officer Jon Moeller said the company will update the figure at the end of the fiscal year in June 2014.