New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE:CL – $68.08) reported worldwide net sales of $4.07 billion in the second quarter, a decrease of 6.5% versus 2014’s total, but in line with analyst projections. Global unit volume grew 3.0%, pricing increased 2.5% and foreign exchange was negative 12.0%. Organic sales grew 5.5%. Adjusted for special items, net income was $639 million, a decrease of 5% versus a year ago and earnings per share was $0.70, a decrease of 4% from 2014 and in line with Street consensus. Gross profit margin was 58.3% in second quarter 2015, a decrease of 50 basis points versus the year ago quarter, primarily as a result of higher raw and packaging material costs, driven by significant foreign exchange transaction costs, which were partially offset by higher pricing and the benefits from cost savings initiatives and the 2012 restructuring program. Geographically, North America net sales increased 1.5% in second quarter from last year; Latin America sales decreased 8.5%; Europe/South Pacific sales decreased 16.5%; Asia increased 2.0%; Africa/Eurasia decreased 17.5% and Hill’s Pet net sales decreased 1.5% during second quarter 2015. Longer-term investors are likely to achieve worthwhile total returns if Colgate continues its historically consistent 4% to 7% annual sales growth pattern along with steadily rising gross margins. Earnings for the full year are on track to come in at $2.88 per share. The company’s leading oral care market position, along with solid market share in its three other segments, has enabled it to raise dividends for 52 consecutive years, and consistently repurchase its shares. Positions in CL are warranted in a well-diversified conservative account.