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Clorox Disinfecting Wipes Will Be Scarce Until 2021

Clorox CEO Dorer said the supply chain has struggled to keep up with coronavirus-driven demand for its disinfecting wipes, a media report says.

Americans are buying so many Clorox  (CLX) - Get Clorox Company Report disinfecting wipes that store shelves won't have the product fully stocked until 2021, a media report says. 

CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters that the company is currently understocked across much of its portfolio of products. 

Supply for most of its products, like liquid bleach, will improve "dramatically" over the next four to six months, he said.

"Disinfecting wipes, which are the hottest commodity in the business right now, will probably take longer because it’s a very complex supply chain to make them,” Dorer told Reuters

Dorer, who will step down in September after six years leading the company, went on to say that the company's entire supply chain has been stressed and that it will take until next year for the company to meet all the demand it has received.

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In May, Clorox thought it would see shelves stocked with wipes by the summer. Since then, the company has made "major" capital investments to ramp output each quarter. 

The company began outsourcing some of its manufacturing capacity to 10 third-party suppliers with plans to increase that number. 

Clorox shares at last check were up 2.4% to $237.61.

On Monday, Clorox reported stronger-than-expected fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings Monday thanks to a surge in cleaning-product sales triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic.

However, the stock fell after the company said that it sees a mid-single digit decline to mid-single digit increase in diluted earnings as well as flat to low-single digit percentage growth for net sales. 

Sales from Clorox's health-and-wellness division, which includes cleaning and professional products as well as vitamins and supplements, rose 33% to $805 million, the company said, around double the gains seen in the group's household and lifestyle units.