|Procter & Gamble cuts 4Q profit, revenue outlook||| Print ||
|Written by MAE ANDERSON & MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Writers|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 09:53|
NEW YORK (AP) — Procter & Gamble Co. on Wednesday lowered its fourth-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts, hurt by unfavorable foreign exchange rates, continued slow growth in developed markets and a slowdown of growth in China.
Shares of the world's largest consumer products maker fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading.
The guidance cut, announced during a presentation at a Deutsche Bank Global Consumer conference in Paris, is the second time in three months that P&G has lowered its outlook. It is trying to balance growth in emerging markets, which make up about 30 percent of its sales, with the realities of an uncertain global economy and lackluster market share growth.
It's a sign that expanding abroad is a complicated task for even the largest consumer product companies.
Last month P&G said it was rethinking overseas expansion and would focus on its biggest and most profitable markets abroad.
On Wednesday, CEO Bob McDonald reiterated that strategy as well as the company's cost cutting program, aimed at saving $10 billion by fiscal 2016.
"We are making the necessary adjustments to our growth strategy to increase focus on our core business and to achieve more balanced growth across geographies, product categories and the top and bottom lines," he said in a statement accompanying the presentation.
The maker of Tide detergent and Pantene shampoo said it expects adjusted fourth-quarter earnings between 75 cents and 79 cents per share, down from its previous estimate of 79 cents to 85 cents per share.
Revenue is anticipated to drop 1 percent to 2 percent compared with a prior outlook for a 1 percent to 2 percent increase. The new guidance implies revenue in a range of $20.45 billion to $20.66 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet foresee earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $20.62 billion.
P&G reaffirmed a plan announced last month, that it will prioritize investments in its biggest product innovations, its biggest and most profitable markets and its biggest emerging countries. It also plans to keep investing in new markets.
For fiscal 2013, Cincinnati-based P&G expects adjusted earnings to be up by a mid-to-high single digits percentage rate. The company said it will give an update to the guidance when it reports its fiscal 2012 results on Aug. 3.
Its shares fell $1.26, or 2 percent, to $60.95 in premarket trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $57.56 to $67.95 in regular trading.
Citi Investment Research analyst Wendy Nicholson said P&G's struggle with market share growth is "discouraging," but said there were some positives in the presentation.
"P&G is clearly saying 'no excuses' and adopting a more aggressive stance about taking responsibility for and fixing their problems," she wrote in a note to investors.
Also on Wednesday, the company reaffirmed its restructuring plan, which involves cutting 5,700 jobs by the end of fiscal 2013 and saving $10 billion by the end of the fiscal 2016.
Like many other consumer products companies, P&G has also been raising prices to deal with higher costs for materials like pulp, fuel and packaging. But in April, P&G said it was rolling back prices in six categories: powdered laundry detergent in the U.S., laundry products in Mexico and the U.K., and North American oral care, dish care and blades and razors. Aside from those categories, other price increases have remained in place.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.