Profits Jump at Procter & Gamble

Fourth-quarter earnings are 56 cents a share, a penny better than expected.
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Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

said strong results in developing countries helped drive a 9.5% gain in year-over-year earnings in its fiscal fourth quarter.

The Cincinnati consumer-products giant earned $1.50 billion in the quarter, or 56 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 30, up from $1.37 billion, or 50 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 10% from last year to $14.26 billion. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $14.05 billion, on average.

The company said it remains comfortable with earnings estimates for its current quarter and fiscal year, which are 78 cents a share and $2.93 a share. On Instinet, the stock was recently up 36 cents, or 0.7%, to $55.99, about 19 times the 2006 guidance.

P&G, which is in the process of acquiring

Gillette

(G) - Get Report

, said fourth-quarter unit volume rose 6% from a year ago, while organic volume, which excludes the effect of acquisitions and divestitures, rose 7%.

Organic sales rose 9% from a year ago.

"Volume growth was broad-based, led by strong gains in beauty, fabric, health and home care," the company said. "All regions posted unit volume growth of mid-single digits or better, led by developing markets with growth in the mid-teens."