by Christopher Freeburn | April 27, 2012 2:33 pm
Consumer product giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) lowered its full year outlook citing weak markets, increased commodity costs and pricing competition from rivals.
P&G shares were down more than 4% in Friday afternoon trading.
The company said earnings for its fiscal third quarter dropped to $2.41 billion, down from $2.87 billion last year. EPS came in at 82 cents, compared to 96 cents during the same period in 2011. Overall sales inched up 2% to $20.2 billion.
Excluding charges related to its ongoing restructuring plan, EPS were 94 cents, modestly beating analysts’ average forecast of 93 cents a share.
The company lowered its full fiscal-year EPS prediction from between $3.93 to $4.03, to between $3.82 to $3.88, falling short of a $3.96-per-share forecast by analysts. EPS for the fourth quarter is estimated to be between 79 cents to 85 cents a share.
Additionally, company officials said new laws forced it to reduce prices in Venezuela, which generates $1 billion in annual sales, by up to 25%.
Analysts cited by Reuters sharply questioned company management during a conference call over the reduced forecast, wondering if anyone at the company was “taking responsibility” for the sliding results.
CEO Bob McDonald blamed weak markets in developed countries and a failure to develop new products, especially in the U.S. beauty care market, for the company’s diminish forecast.
After raising prices by $3.5 billion this year, the company found that not all competitors were following suit. As a result, the P&G is rolling back some of those price increases, including on laundry detergent, oral care products, dishwasher detergent, and blades and razors.
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