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Procter & Gamble Earnings Fall 4%

Earnings at the maker of consumer products fell 4%, while total sales fell 8% in the third quarter.

Updated from 7:25 a.m. EDT

Procter & Gamble


reported third-quarter earnings of $2.61 billion, or 84 cents a share, which topped the estimates of analysts and was toward the high end of its own internal guidance, as organic sales rose 1%.

Net sales were hurt by the stronger dollar and fell 8% to $18.42 billion from $20.03 billion a year earlier. Earnings in the same quarter a year earlier were $2.71 billion, or 82 cents a share.

Earnings per share reflected fewer shares outstanding after

J.M. Smucker

took over P&G's Folgers coffee business in a $2.95 billion stock deal last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected third-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share on sales of $18.91 billion.

In a statement Thursday, Procter & Gamble said it expects organic sales in fiscal 2009 to grow by 2% to 3%, while net sales are seen down 2% to 4% primarily because of unfavorable foreign exchange of about 5%.

The company also said it is comfortable with analysts' estimates of 2009 earnings of $4.22 a share, with a range of $4.20 to $4.25 a share.

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