Clorox 1Q Profit Improves as Prices Grow

By IndustrialsFOXBusiness

Led by higher prices, Clorox (NYSE:CLX) said first-quarter profit and sales grew during the quarter but revenue fell short of expectations as volumes slumped.

Clorox also stood by its fiscal 2013 profit view.

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The maker of Clorox disinfecting wipes and Pine-Sol products posted earnings of $133 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with a year-earlier $130 million, or 98 cents.

Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were looking for earnings of 95 cents.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 grew 3% to $1.34 billion from $1.3 billion a year ago, narrowly missing the Street’s view of $1.35 billion.

Sales growth was led by higher prices, particularly in its cleaning segment, offset by a 1% decline in volumes and softer household segment demand.

“We're off to a good start in the fiscal year," Clorox CEO Don Knauss said in a statement. "We saw strong margin improvement in the quarter, which is a particular focus for the company, even as we continue to invest in systems and facilities infrastructure."

Clorox continues to expect sales growth for fiscal 2013 in the range of 2% to 4%, reflecting category growth and product innovation in many of its brands, with earnings in the range of $4.20 to $4.35 a share, bracketing the consensus’ $4.29 a share.

Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll are looking for sales of $5.66 billion.

Actual results could be impacted by continued uncertainty in some international markets, particularly Europe, as well as foreign exchange impacts, Clorox said.