Colgate-Palmolive Meets Q1 EPS Estimates
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL – $ 66.83) announced worldwide net sales of $4.07 billion in first quarter 2015, a decrease of 6.0% versus first quarter 2014. Global unit volume grew 1.5%, pricing increased 2.5% and foreign exchange was negative 10.0%. Organic sales (Net sales excluding foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments) grew 4.0%. Excluding certain items in both periods, net income in first quarter 2015 was $609 million, a decrease of 4% versus first quarter 2014, and earnings per share was $0.66, a decrease of 3% versus last year matching the consensus. Sales fell to $4.07 billion from $4.33 billion, just below the consensus of $4.08 billion. Adjusted gross profit margin was 58.9% in first quarter 2015, an increase of 30 basis points versus the year ago quarter, primarily as a result of higher pricing and the benefits from cost savings from the company’s funding-the-growth initiatives and the 2012 Restructuring Program, partially offset by higher raw and packaging material costs, driven by significant foreign exchange transaction costs. North America net sales increased 0.5% and unit volume was even with the year ago with 1.5% higher pricing, while foreign exchange was negative 1.0%. Organic sales increased 1.5% during the quarter. Internationally, Latin America net sales decreased 5.5%; Europe/South Pacific decreased 14.5%; Asia sales decreased 1.5%; Africa/Eurasia net sales decreased 15.0%; and Pet Nutrition decreased 2.5%. Management said the company’s long-term goal of double-digit annual earnings per share is unchanged but with “significant deterioration in foreign exchange rates,” the company now expects “low-single-digit earnings per share decline on a dollar basis.” Earnings, however, still appear to be on track for the full year at $2.95, and the shares, while not a bargain, can continue to be held by the risk-averse for above-average total returns to late decade. The recently increased dividend yields 2.2%, at current levels.