P&G Trims Growth Targets as Developed Economies Slow

Hit by slowing economic growth in developed markets, consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) on Wednesday trimmed its earnings targets for the current quarter and full year.

Shares of the parent of Tide laundry detergent and Bounty paper towels ticked almost 2% lower in the wake of the gloomier outlook.

Cincinnati-based P&G said it expects to post core EPS of 75 cents to 79 cents in the April-June quarter, down from 79 cents to 85 cents previously and below the Street’s view of 82 cents.

Net sales are expected to sink 1% to 2%, compared with an earlier call for a rise of 1% to 2%. Organic sales are expected to rise 2% to 3%.

P&G, which also makes Swiffer and Duracell batteries, among many other products, blamed “slower than anticipated” sales growth triggered by “market-share softness” in developed countries and negative impact from currency fluctuations.

For fiscal 2013, P&G said it expects core EPS to be flat to up single digits.

“We must and we will improve,” CEO Bob McDonald said at a conference in Paris, according to media reports.

P&G also reaffirmed its intent to slash costs by $10 billion by the end of fiscal 2013 through a slew of moves, including cutting 5,700 non-manufacturing jobs.

“We are making the necessary adjustments to our growth strategy to increase focus on our core business and to achieve more balanced growth across geographies, product categories and the top and bottom lines,” McDonald said in a statement.

Meanwhile, analysts at BMO Capital (NYSE:BMO) cut their price target on P&G to $72 from $74 but maintained an “outperform” rating on the shares.

Shares of P&G declined 1.6% to $61.22 early Wednesday, leaving them on track to extend their 2012 slump of about 7%.