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Clorox Smashes Q1 Earnings Forecast, Boosts 2021 Outlook

Clorox posted Street-beating earnings for its fiscal first quarter Monday, and raised its full-year profit outlook, thanks in part to an ongoing surge in sales for its bleach and cleaning products.

Clorox Co.  (CLX) - Get Clorox Company Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Monday, and boosted its full-year profit outlook, as the surge in clean products sales through the coronavirus pandemic continued to support the group's top and bottom line.

Clorox said diluted earnings for the three months ending in September, the group's fiscal first quarter, were pegged at $3.22 per share, more than double last year's total and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.32 per share. Group revenues, Clorox said, rose 27% to $1.92 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $1.763 billion tally.

Looking into its 2021 financial year, Clorox said it sees sales rising by between 5% and 9%, and diluted earnings in the range of $7.70 to $7.95 per share, with both figures improvements from the group's summer forecast. 

"We delivered another quarter of outstanding results to have a strong start to the fiscal year, with broad-based strength across our portfolio, driving double-digit sales growth in all reportable segments," said new CEO Linda Rendle. "At a time of global uncertainty, these results speak to the strength of our brands and passion of our people as they stepped up to meet the needs of consumers around the world. Moving forward, we'll drive our momentum by leaning into our IGNITE strategy. We'll invest strongly in superior brand experiences and strategic growth initiatives in support of our ambition of accelerating long-term profitable growth for the company."  

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Clorox shares were marked 3.4% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $214.25 each. 

Sales from Clorox's Heath and Wellness division, which includes cleaning and professional products as well as vitamins and supplements, rose 28.4% to $813 million, the company said, while Household sales rose 38.5% to $500 million and Lifestyle sales jumped 17.3% to $318 million.