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Foreign Exchange Creating Headwinds for Philip Morris, Others

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Philip Morris (NYSE: PM) cut its full-year EPS guidance on Thursday, citing currency headwinds.

Specifically, Philip Morris revised its 2012 full-year reported diluted earnings per share forecast to a range of $5.10 to $5.20, versus actual results of $4.85 for 2011. This new guidance range was lower than analysts' estimates of $5.23 per share. The company primarily cited prevailing exchange rates as the cause of this revision.

Excluding an unfavorable currency impact of approximately $0.25 for full-year 2012, Philip Morris expects diluted earnings per share to increase by 10 to 12 percent versus adjusted diluted earnings per share of $4.88 in 2011.

Since June 2011, the U.S. dollar has been appreciating against other major currencies. As a result of global economic uncertainty, investors seem to be flocking to the U.S. dollar to hedge against risk in the markets. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. dollar has appreciated about 12 percent against the euro, and is up about 10 percent as an Index versus a basket of other currencies.

A strong dollar is not necessarily positive for U.S.-based companies, since a strong dollar makes it more expensive for foreign companies to import goods from the United States. Below are a few companies who cited currency as a headwind going forward, and some others that could be negatively affected.

Recent Examples

On Wednesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) announced fiscal-year guidance. The company stated that its earnings per share are expected to be in-line to up mid-single digits percentage versus fiscal 2012 results.

P&G noted that foreign exchange, based on early-June spot rates, will negatively impact fiscal 2013 EPS growth by approximately four percent.

On June 19th, Pepsico (NYSE: PEP) released an 8-K filing to update investors on current events in the company. Within the 8-K, Pepsico stated that it expects core constant currency earnings per share to decrease by 5 percent in 2012 from its fiscal 2011 core earnings per share of $4.40.

Based on the current foreign exchange market consensus, foreign exchange translation would have an unfavorable impact of approximately three percentage points on PepsiCo's full year core EPS performance in 2012.

The world's largest fast food hamburger chain, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), reported that its global comparable sales rose only 3.3 percent in May, lower than analysts' estimates of 5.2 percent.

McDonald's stated that at current exchange rates, foreign currency translation is estimated to negatively impact its earnings by $0.07-$0.09 per share for the second quarter.

How to Take Advantage

A stronger dollar will likely hurt some companies with commodity exposure. A strong dollar weakens the prices for commodities, as most commodities are denominated in U.S. dollars. One company that could be negatively affected by this is Alcoa (NYSE: AA).

Alcoa is a global aluminum company, which operates in 31 countries. Despite weakening demand across most developing nations including China, foreign countries are likely to purchase less aluminum since their purchasing power has decreased.

Another company that could be negatively affected by a strong dollar is Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF). A strong dollar relative to the weakening euro will make foreign buyers less likely to spend their income on high end goods, because these goods become more expensive.

Friday, shares of Alcoa were trading around 0.6 percent higher in the pre-market. Tiffany shares closed Thursday around 2.8 percent lower for the session and down about 20.6 percent year-to-date.

Posted-In: Long Ideas News Guidance Short Ideas Forex Management Economics Markets Best of Benzinga


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