Church & Dwight's
first-quarter earnings rose 5.8% from a year earlier as both revenue and costs increased.
The Princeton, N.J.-based consumer products company earned $39.9 million, or 60 cents a share, up from $37.7 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for stock-option expense, earnings were 62 cents a share in the most recent quarter. The results easily topped Thomson First Call's mean analyst estimate for earnings of 53 cents a share.
First-quarter revenue rose 5.2% from a year-ago period to $442.4 million, beating analysts' forecast of $439.4 million. First-quarter sales include $12.3 million for two businesses acquired late last year, the SpinBrush battery-powered toothbrush business bought from
Procter & Gamble
, and a skin-care operation in Brazil.
"We are satisfied with these first quarter results, particularly as commodity costs are so much higher than in the same period last year," said James Craigie, president and chief executive, in a statement. "Our primary goal this year is not only to recover last year's cost increases, but also to return to our traditional strategy of achieving a steady improvement in gross margin every year. With our recent pricing actions and cost reduction initiatives, we are well on track to meet this objective."
For the year, Church & Dwight expects to earn $1.93 a share, or $2.01 a share excluding stock-option expense. Analysts forecast a full-year profit of $2 a share.
''We expect to see some impact on demand as consumers adjust to the higher prices. But in the long run, these price increases will improve our margins and help us achieve our financial goals," the company said.
The company's stock recently was up 68 cents, or 1.8%, to $37.94.
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