Colgate-Palmolive (CL) Q2 2012 Earnings Call July 26, 2012 11:00 am ET Executives Bina H. Thompson - Former Vice President of Investor Relations Ian M. Cook - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Analysts Nik Modi - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division Dara W. Mohsenian - Morgan Stanley, Research Division Caroline S. Levy - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division Christopher Ferrara - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division William Schmitz - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division Alice Beebe Longley - The Buckingham Research Group Incorporated Javier Escalante - Consumer Edge Research, LLC Joseph Altobello - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Research Division Ian Gordon Joe Lachky - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division Lauren R. Lieberman - Barclays Capital, Research Division Constance Marie Maneaty - BMO Capital Markets U.S. Ali Dibadj - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division Linda Bolton-Weiser - Caris & Company, Inc., Research Division Jason Gere - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division Jon Andersen - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division Presentation Operator
We will discuss organic sales growth, excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures. We will also discuss gross profit, operating profit, net income and earnings per share, excluding the impact of the onetime items described in the press release. A full reconciliation with the corresponding GAAP measures is included in the press release and is posted on the Investor Relations section of our website at www.colgatepalmolive.comWe're very pleased with our second quarter results, particularly in light of an increasingly unpredictable global economy. Of particular note is our organic sales growth, which was positive in every division and up double-digit in the emerging markets, accelerating from the first quarter's strong pace. The total company organic sales growth of 8% reflected a good balance between volume of 4.5% and price of 3.5%. Our market shares are strong around the world, and our categories are growing. Even in the developed markets, we see category growth, albeit modest. And we believe we have the right strategies and plans in place for 2012 and beyond. As you know, 1 of our 4 strategic initiatives is innovation for growth, and that focus has been one of the key drivers of our top line momentum. You'll hear more about recent launches as well as new products to come when we go through the divisions. Gross margin increased 50 basis points and continues to be higher than the fourth quarter of last year. The increase was somewhat less than previously anticipated due primarily to higher foreign exchange transaction costs from a rapidly strengthening dollar during the quarter. However, we expect gross margin to increase sequentially in the third and fourth quarter, and to be up within our targeted range of 75 to 125 basis points for the full year. Our increase in margin and control of overheads has allowed us to increase advertising, both absolutely and as a percent of sales, as we told you we would. And with EPS as expected, overall a healthy income statement. Earnings per share increased 6% and was up strong double-digit on a currency-neutral basis. Our balance sheet remains strong, both inventory and receivable days declined year-over-year and our free cash flow before dividends increased 8%.
So then let's turn to the divisions. First, starting with North America. Our business in North America remains solid. Our categories are still growing, and we are growing even faster. Both for the quarter and on a year-to-date basis, our all-outlet market shares are up in toothpaste, manual toothbrushes, liquid hand soaps, bar soaps, body wash, all-purpose cleaners and fabric conditioner. Our strong advertising support behind a broad array of new products has helped drive these results.We're very pleased with the continued strong performance of Colgate Optic White toothpaste and are very excited about the launch this quarter of Colgate Optic White mouthwash to complete the existing regimen of toothpaste and toothbrush. This mouthwash, our first entry into the U.S. market, effectively whitens teeth and freshens breath. The alcohol-free formula helps prevent -- protect against future stains and reaches hard-to-brush areas. It kills bad breath germs, while being enamel-safe. Reception by the trade has been excellent. In addition to the mouthwash, we're also launching Colgate Optic White enamel white toothpaste, which fortifies enamel through mineralization for strong teeth while providing a whitening benefit. This bundle addresses a large segment of whitening users and nonusers who fear long-term enamel damage. Enamel variance grew 22% in 2011 and now represent almost 6% of the toothpaste market. In personal care, in both liquid hand soap and body wash, we are expanding our fragrant footprint with Softsoap Pampered Hands Coconut Lime Foaming Hand Soap and Softsoap Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion body wash. The body washes are created with real fruit extracts and best-in-class, wake-me-up fragrances, along with strong, invigorating graphics to help differentiate the products on the shelf. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com