Colgate Profit Down on Weak Brazil, China Demand; Warns on Dollar

Earnings Reuters

Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL) reported a 17 percent drop in third-quarter profit and lowered its full-year earnings forecast, hurt by weak demand in Brazil and China and a stronger U.S. dollar.

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Shares of the company, whose profit has fallen in four of the past six quarters, fell 2 percent before the bell on Friday.

The stronger dollar will slow the company's full-year profit per share growth to 3-4 percent, Colgate said. It had previously expected a 4-5 percent growth.

U.S. companies with big international operations are having to adjust to a new environment after more than a decade of reaping the benefits of a relatively weak dollar on earnings.

Emerging markets, which generate about 50 percent of Colgate's net sales, have weakened in the past few months, with Brazil slipping into recession and China facing what is said to be its worst slowdown in 24 years.

Colgate, which controls nearly 45 percent of the global toothpaste market, said net sales in Latin America fell 4.5 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

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Procter & Gamble Co, the world's largest household products maker, reported a slight fall in quarterly sales on Friday and said a stronger dollar would significantly hurt revenue and earnings in the current quarter.

Colgate's net income fell to $542 million, or 59 cents per share, in the quarter, from $656 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Worldwide net sales fell marginally to $4.38 billion.

Organic sales, which strip out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange, rose 3.5 percent.

Excluding items, the company earned 76 cents per share, in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company, which have lost about 4.5 percent in the past three months, closed at $65.05 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. 

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian and Simon Jennings)