Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL – $70.95) reported worldwide net sales of $3.762 billion in first quarter 2016, a decrease of 7.5% versus first quarter 2015 and close to Street estimates. Sales in Latin America logged a sharp 22% decline, while sales in Europe and the South Pacific fell 7.5%. Asia posted a sales decrease of 2.5% and sales in North America climbed 1.5%. Excluding divested businesses and the impact of the previously disclosed deconsolidation of the company’s Venezuelan operations, unit volume increased 3.5%, pricing increased 1.5% and foreign exchange was negative 8.0%. Taking out foreign exchange rates, organic sales grew 5.0%. Excluding charges from the 2012 Restructuring Program, net income in first quarter was $571 million, a decrease of 6% versus a year ago and earnings per share was $0.63, a decrease of 5% on a lower share count versus first quarter 2015, but in line with consensus estimates.
Shares of Colgate-Palmolive are suitable for conservative investors looking for capital preservation along with moderate price appreciation potential. Steadily growing dividends, share-repurchases, a dominant position in the oral care field and exposure to favorable emerging market population trends are appealing traits.