P&G

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) posted modestly stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday and boosted its full-year sales guidance thanks to solid sales for its skincare products.

P&G said diluted earnings for the three months ending in December, the company's fiscal second quarter, came in at $1.22 per share, just one penny ahead of the Street consensus and up 2.5% from the same period last year. Group sales, P&G said, were essentially flat from the prior period, but topped the consensus forecast at $17.4 billion. The company expects full-year 2019 organic sales growth of between 2% and 4% and core earnings per share of $4.22.

"We delivered strong organic sales in the second quarter, building on our first quarter momentum, which enables us to increase our outlook for the year," said CEO David Taylor. "Our focus on superiority, productivity and improving P&G's organization and culture is delivering improved results despite a challenging competitive and macroeconomic environment."

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P&G shares were rose 4.9% to close at $94.84 in trading Wednesday.

P&G said organic sales in skin and personal care, which include "super-premium" brands such as SK-II and Olay, increased by a double-digit percentage due to "premium innovation" and a "positive product mix"

Overall group sales, however, were 4% higher from the same period last year, once currency movements are stripped out, P&G said, helped by "disproportionate" growth in the premium skin category.