Consumer products maker
Procter & Gamble
said earnings and revenue rose in the fiscal fourth quarter, and the results beat analysts' expectations.
Sales rose 7% to $10.92 billion from $10.17 billion in the year-ago period. Organic sales, which exclude foreign exchange and the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, climbed 5%.
P&G earned $955 million, or 68 cents a share, in the fourth qurater, including $261 million of restructuring charges. The company earned $910 million, or 64 cents a share, including $175 million of charges, last year. Core earnings, which exclude restructuring charges, totaled $1.22 billion, or 87 cents a share, in the 2003 quarter.
For the quarter ended June 30, unit volume grew 5% over the prior year as a result of double-digit growth in the health care business and continued strong results in Asia and central and eastern Europe. Organic unit volume, which excludes acquisitions and divestitures, advanced 6%.
P&G said that for fiscal year 2004, sales growth, excluding the effect of foreign exchange, should increase toward the top end of its long-term range of 4% to 6%. The company also projected that earnings per share will grow in the "double-digits," in line with its long-term goals.
Sales should grow in the mid- to high single digits for the fiscal first quarter, P&G said, and the company is comfortable with the current consensus earnings estimate for the period.
Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected core earnings of 86 cents a share and sales of $10.81 billion for the fourth quarter. Wall Street is looking for a first-quarter profit of $1.23 a share with sales of $11.43 billion and fiscal 2004 earnings of $4.49 a share on sales of $45.23 billion.