beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter estimates by a penny, but, like many companies doing business globally, indicated that the strong dollar dragged down sales for the period.
Income from continuing operations, before a restructuring charge, rose to $345 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, from $335 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period. A consensus estimate of 13 analysts had expected the company to post earnings of 32 cents a share, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
Including the charge, the consumer products company posted a loss in the fourth quarter of $85 million, or 8 cents a share.
Sales for the quarter rose 1% to $2.82 billion from $2.80 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999. Excluding the effects of foreign exchange translation and the sale of the White Rain brand, sales rose 8%. Blade and razor sales in the fourth quarter climbed 10% and profits rose 29% from the same period last year. Duracell sales declined 6% and profits fell 31% from the prior year.
On Monday, Gillette appointed
a new chairman and CEO, James Kilts, the former
big wheel and company turnaround specialist.
Last month the company said it was slashing its workforce and closing factories, and it warned that sluggish sales at Duracell would hurt profits.