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Colgate Tops Estimates But Pulls Guidance Due to Covid Uncertainty

Colgate-Palmolive reported first-quarter earnings grew 12% on a 5.5% increase in revenue. But it pulled its guidance due to the murky economic outlook.

Shares of Colgate-Palmolive CL were pressured Friday after the New York consumer-goods giant reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter results but pulled guidance due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 

The company earned an adjusted 75 cents a share in the quarter as net sales rose 5.5% to $4.1 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting the company to report earnings of 73 cents a share on sales of $4.08 billion. 

Despite the results beat, the company pulled its financial guidance for 2020 due to uncertainty around government actions and consumer behavior due to Covid-19. 

Chief Executive Noel Wallace did say that the company expected a mid-single-digit negative impact on net sales for the year due to foreign-exchange factors. 

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"As we proceed through this pandemic, we plan to reinstate our guidance when we have the visibility to forecast our results with more confidence," Wallace said.

Wallace also said Colgate-Palmolive was expecting some of the additional volume the company has seen amid the crisis to "come out of future quarters, as consumers work through pantry inventory in certain categories."

Colgate reported a 9% jump in North American sales (which represent about a quarter of the company's total sales) and a 12% jump in European sales. 

Meanwhile, sales in the Asia-Pacific region fell 12% in the quarter. Sales in Latin America were flat in the period. 

Colgate shares at last check were off 1.8% to $69. 

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