Consumer Stock Winner: Scotts Miracle-Gro

Mid-cap stock Scotts Miracle-Gro has been one of the biggest winners in the consumer goods sector Tuesday afternoon after the company announced a spate of uplifting news.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Mid-cap stock Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) - Get Report has been one of the biggest winners in the consumer goods sector Tuesday afternoon after the company announced a spate of uplifting news including a rise in profit, a share repurchasing program and the doubling of its quarterly dividend.

Scotts Miracle-Gro said it will repurchasing $500 million of common shares over the next four years and is also doubling its quarterly dividend payment to 25 cents a share.

Shares of Scotts Miracle-Gro were rising 3.4% to $47.94 Tuesday late afternoon, before settling the trading session up 2.2% to $47.39.

Scotts Miracle-Gro also re-affirmed its full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance of $3.25 to $3.35 a share vs. the consensus estimate of $3.31 a share after reporting better-than expected third-quarter earnings.

Excluding items affecting comparability, Scotts Miracle-Gro had adjusted income from continuing operations -- which excludes the impact of product registration and recall costs -- of $176.9 million, or $2.61 a share compared with $155 million, or $2.34 a share the same period last year and the average analyst estimate of $2.45 a share.

Company-wide sales from continuing operations for the quarter were $1.24 billion, up 1% from the same period last year. The consensus estimate for total sales was $1.23 billion. Scotts Miracle-Gro said sales were up 5% when adjusted for a five-day shift forward of the third quarter.

Scotts' global consumer sales increased to $1.09 billion, up slightly from a year ago. Adjusted for the calendar shift, global consumer sales increased 5%. Meanwhile, Scotts' lawn service segment reported a 3% increase in sales to $81.3 million from $79 million and the global professional unit saw sales increase by 3% in the quarter to $71.9 million from $69.5 million last year.

Scotts ended the Tuesday sharply higher than large-cap consumer staples such as

P&G

(PG) - Get Report

and

J&J

(JNJ) - Get Report

, which ended the trading session in mixed territory after the Fed announced, as expected, that it would leave the target fed funds rate unchanged. The Fed's move reflects its desire to boost liquidity amid the slowing pace of economic recovery, according to industry observers.

P&G finished the trading session up 0.7% to $60.78, while J&J finished 1% lower to $59.43.

Colgate

(CL) - Get Report

was one of the biggest consumer staple gainers of the day, up 2.2% to $77.97 at the closing bell as it recovered from news that

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

cut its price target for the stock to $79 a share from $84 a share due to the expectation that the company will see a decline in earnings because of greater investments in sales growth.

At the end of last month, Fitch Ratings said it had a stable rating outlook for Colgate based on the company's track record of consistent profitability and considerable liquidity, its business strategies and its conservative management.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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