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Procter & Gamble Benefits From The Cleaning Boom

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Procter & Gamble Benefits From The Cleaning Boom

On Tuesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) managed to beat estimates and raised forecast amid strong demand for its household products. Its shares rose 2% in morning trading.

Key figures

Fiscal first-quarter sales rose 9% as the pandemic fuelled higher demand for cleaning and laundry products, exceeding the prior quarter's 6% increase. Net sales amounted to $19.32 billion, topping expectations of $18.38 billion. Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign currency, also rose 9% in the quarter. This sales boost was enabled by stronger demand in P&G's largest market, North America.

Sales growth resulted in a net income of $4.28 billion, or $1.63 per share. Not only is this figure higher than Refinitiv's average of $1.42 per share, but it is also an improvement from last year's $3.59 billion, or $1.36 per share, a year earlier.

Improved Forecast

Supported by these strong quarter results, P&G also raised its outlook for fiscal 2021. Overall sales growth is now expected in the range between 3% to 4%, up from its prior forecast of 1% to 3%. As for organic revenue, the forecasted range also improved from 2% to 4% to a new range between 4% and 5%. The outlook for its core earnings per share growth has also improved from the prior forecast of 3% to 7%. While the early retirement of debt will reduce its net income up to 20 cents a share this fiscal year, core earnings per share are still forecasted to grow between 5% to 8%. As for the impact of after-tax foreign exchange impacts and freight costs, they are estimated to impact earnings at approximately $375 million.

The "antiseptic" cleaning boom

Although the laundry care and healthcare divisions were standout performers as consumers prioritized home cleaning spending, all of P&G's five business segments enjoyed organic sales growth. Moreover, U.S. consumers did not opt for cheaper brands which were expected to the absence of a new stimulus package.

Fabric and home care, which includes Tide, saw the highest jump. Organic sales rose 14% in the quarter. The home care segment alone saw organic sales soar 30% due to a boost in demand for home cleaning products, like Mr. Clean.

Health care, which includes Oral-B,s saw a double-digit organic sales growth as more consumers bought its digestive and wellness products.

Its beauty segment saw organic sales growth of 7% with the launch of Safeguard hand soap and hand sanitizer as well as new products from Olay that lifted North American sales for skin and personal care. It's already a known fact that skincare became the new "lipstick index" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organic sales for its grooming business rose 6% in the quarter. However, Gillette and Venus brands saw flat organic sales as men don't appear to be shaving as much during the pandemic. But women's razors and blades rose by single digits.

The company's baby, health and family care segment reported organic sales growth of 4%, including Pampers diapers, paper towels and toilet paper.

Outlook

It didn't take long for Procter & Gamble to leave its conservative fiscal 2021 outlook behind. As consumers spend more time in their households, watching TV and engaging with their social media profiles, P&G is putting more money into advertising to put its brands front and center. The overall image is that P&G's strong results and growth were enabled by increase in sales volumes, but average prices also rose. P&G did a great job in catching the cleaning boom wave which is why the company expects only a modest slowdown from pandemic-influenced growth rates that result in spiking sales over the recent months.

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