Procter & Gamble Co. reported on Thursday fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings of $521 million, or 18 cents a share, down from $2.58 billion, or 89 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a charge related to the Venezuelan operations, the consumer products giant said core earnings per share came in at $1, beat the FactSet consensus of 95 cents. Sales fell 9% to $17.8 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $17.9 billion, with unfavorable currency movements reducing sales by nine percentage points. Beauty, hair and personal care sales fell 1%, as improved pricing was offset by a decline in volume, while grooming sales rose 1% and health care sales rose 4%. For fiscal 2016, P&G expects core EPS to rise in the mid-single digit percentage range from 2015's $3.77. The FactSet consensus of $4.14 implies a 9.8% increase. The stock, which slipped 0.2% in premarket trade, has shed 11% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.4%.
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