Colgate-Palmolive Co. said Friday it had net income of $542 million, or 59 cents a share, in the third quarter, down from $656 million, or 70 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, weighed down by restructuring charges, a Venezuela-related charge and other special costs. Excluding those items, per-share earnings came to 76 cents, a penny ahead of the FactSet consensus of 75 cents. The consumer goods giant said sales fell 0.5% to $4.379 billion, below the FactSet consensus $4.436 billion. "Given the recent deterioration in exchange rates, we now expect gross margin may be flat for the year and expect diluted earnings per share to grow 3% to 4% on a dollar basis, based on current spot rates," Chief Executive Ian Cook said in a statement. The company is still targeting double-digit annual EPS growth on a dollar basis, he said. Colgate shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are down 0.3% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.
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