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Procter & Gamble Tops Q1 Earnings Forecast, Boosts 2021 Sales Outlook

Procter & Gamble said it plans to return between $15 billion and $17 billion to shareholders after boosting its organic sales forecast for the 2021 fiscal year.

Procter & Gamble Co.  (PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday, and boosted its full-year sales outlook, as home cleaning and healthcare products boosted the group's top and bottom lines.

Procter & Gamble said core profits for the three months ending in September, the group's fiscal first quarter, were pegged at $1.63 per share, up 19% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $142 per share. Group revenues, the company said, rose 8.4% to $19.3 billion, again topping analysts' estimate of an $18.34 billion tally.

Looking into its 2021 fiscal year, which ends in June, Procter & Gamble said it sees organic sales growth of between 4% and 5%, up from a prior range of 2% to 4%, and expects to return around $15 billion to $17 billion back to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks. Core profits, the company said, are expected to rise between 5% and 8%.

“We delivered another strong quarter of organic sales growth, core earnings per share and cash returned to shareowners, enabling us to increase our outlook for fiscal year results,” said CEO David Taylor. “Our near-term priorities continue to be employee health and safety, maximizing availability of P&G products for consumers around the world, and helping society meet the challenges of the COVID crisis."

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"We remain firmly focused on executing our strategies of superiority, productivity, constructive disruption and improving P&G’s organization and culture to deliver balanced top-line and bottom-line growth along with strong cash generation,” he added.  

Procter & Gamble shares were marked 1.6% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $144.25 each, a move that extends the stock's six-month gain to around 20%.

Fabric and home care sales, which include cleaning products such as Comet, Joy, Febreze and Cascade, rose 14% from last year, matching the pace over the three months ending in June, while baby, feminine and family care segment sales were 4% higher and beauty sales rose 7%. Personal grooming sales, which includes skin care products, rose 6% from last year, Procter & Gamble said.