Updated from 7:54 a.m. EST with stock price, earnings call details
The maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda reported adjusted earnings of 44 cents per share, beating analysts' estimates of 42 cents per share. Revenue increased 2.6% to $896 million over last year and was above Wall Street's forecasts of $889 million.
Organic sales growth of 2.7% topped the company's guidance for an increase of 1% to 2% and was driven by the global consumer products business.
Sales in the consumer domestic segment rose 3.4% to $695.4 million year-over-year. Organic sales rose 2.7% helped by Arm & Hammer laundry detergent and cat litter, Batiste dry shampoo, gummy vitamins and Oxiclean additives.
In the consumer international unit, sales increased 2.1% to $127.6 million. Organic sales jumped 7.4% driven largely by Batiste dry shampoo, Arm & Hammer baking soda and laundry detergent in Mexico.
But sales in the specialty products division declined 4.3% to $73 million. Organic sales dropped 5.2% due to lower volumes in the specialty chemical sector of the business. "The animal nutrition business was down slightly, but saw improved demand from the USA dairy industry as milk prices and dairy farm profitability improved," Church & Dwight noted.
For fiscal 2017, the Trenton, NJ-based company sees earnings of $1.89 per share, in line with the FactSet consensus estimate.
Full-year organic sales are forecast to increase about 3% supported by new product introductions. For example, the company is launching a new Trojan condom targeting both men and women this year. One in three condoms are purchased by women and the condom category is also beginning to shift online, executives noted on a conference call with analysts.
"We expect the 2017 business environment to have higher levels of trade promotions, rising commodity costs and worsening foreign currency headwinds," CEO Matthew Farrell said in a statement.
"However, we plan to deliver strong sales, cash and earnings growth with our balanced portfolio of value and premium products, the launch of innovative new products, aggressive productivity programs and tight management of overhead costs," he added.
As for tax reform, executives said the company would benefit from the corporate tax rate being lower. Ninety-five percent of Church & Dwight's products are sourced and made domestically. Five percent are imported.
The company also increased its regular quarterly dividend by 7% to 19 cents per share and has decided to sell its Brazilian chemical business. Church & Dwight expects to close the sale of the business during the first quarter. The Brazilian chemical business had $22 million of fiscal 2016 net sales.