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Procter & Gamble Tops Q3 Earnings Forecast, Trims 2020 Sales Outlook

Procter & Gamble expects to pay $7.5 billion in dividends, and repurchase $8 billion in shares, over its 2020 fiscal year.

Procter & Gamble  (PG)  posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Friday, but trimmed its sales growth forecast amid the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar. 

Procter & Gamble said core earnings for the three months ending in March, its fiscal third quarter, were pegged at $1.17 per share, a 10.4% increase from the same period last year and 6 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. 

Group net sales, Procter & Gamble said, rose 4.5% to $17.2 billion as customers stocked-up on basic household items such as toilet paper, diapers and paper towels amid the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic but came in just shy of analysts' estimates of a 17.4 billion tally.

For the current fiscal year, P&G maintained its earnings growth forecast of between 8% and 11% but noted that stronger currency headwinds would keep all-in sales growth in the 3% to 4% range, a 1% reduction from its prior estimate.

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“The strong results we delivered this quarter are a direct reflection of the integral role our products play in meeting the daily health, hygiene and cleaning needs of consumers around the world,” said CEO David Taylor. “Our organization has been doing a terrific job against our near-term priorities – protecting the health and safety of each other, maximizing availability of P&G products to meet heightened consumer need and helping society meet and overcome the challenges of this crisis.”  

Procter & Gamble shares were marked 0.85% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $122.44 each. 

Earlier this week, Procter & Gamble boosted its quarterly dividend by 6%, to 79.07 cents per share, marking the 130th consecutive year that the group has paid a dividend since its incorporation in 1890.