Volume in the fourth quarter grew 2%, led by gains in the company's cleaning and household segments. Clorox did say that gross margins fell, as expected, in the quarter as commodity costs and inflationary pressures increased. This was partially offset by price increases on some products.
Clorox had previously rejected an earlier bid of $76.50 per share.
Icahn sent a second letter to Clorox CEO Donald Knauss on July 20 calling the board's concerns "misguided," and wrote that "for Don Knauss and the rest of the board to claim our proposal remains inadequate and at the same time tout your record for shareholders seems a bit absurd."
Icahn's original proposal was widely viewed as merely a way to put Clorox in play. Entities controlled by Icahn own roughly 9.4% of Clorox's outstanding common stock, making him the company's largest shareholder. He tapped consumer products makers Procter & Gamble ( PG), Unilever ( UN), Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) and Colgate-Palmolive ( CL) as possible "strategic buyers" that might offer "superior bids." "We are in a unique position as your largest shareholder in that we are wearing two hats -- one as a shareholder and another as a buyer," Icahn wrote in his July 15 letter. >>For upcoming earnings and estimates, see our Earnings Calendar. -- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Miriam Reimer. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/miriamsmarket. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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