Shares of The Colgate-Palmolive Company Rise on Strong Organic Growth

Colgate-Palmolive only met analyst targets in the first quarter, but the all-important organic sales trend looked strong.

Apr 25, 2014 at 11:04AM
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Image source: Colgate-Palmolive.

Consumer staples giant Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)  reported results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 this morning and shares are up slightly as of 11 a.m.

Global sales stayed flat year-over-year at $4.3 billion. Unit volume increased by 5% and wholesale prices grew 1.5%, but these growth drivers were matched by a negative 6.5% currency conversion effect. Excluding currency fluctuations, chiefly in remeasuring the value of Venezuelan assets, adjusted earnings grew 3% to $0.68 per share.

Both the top and bottom lines were in line with analyst estimates.

Colgate saw 6.5% organic sales growth on a global level, led by 10% organic revenue improvements in emerging markets.

Colgate's revenue topped expectations and sales rose in North America, Europe, and in the South Pacific-Asia region. Yet sales in Latin America -- which comprises the biggest component of total revenue at 27% of sales -- fell 5%. Latin America was stung by foreign currency fluctuations. Africa/Eurasia sales edged down slightly.

The company increased its advertising budget faster than overall sales growth, and intends to keep advertising investments high for the rest of 2014.

Looking ahead, Colgate expects diluted earnings to grow at a double-digit percentage rate in 2014, when adjusted to back out currency effects. Analysts currently see 5.6% of non-GAAP, full-year earnings growth for the same period.

Investors liked what they heard from Colgate this quarter. In Friday morning's market action, Colgate shares rose 0.2% to buck a broad market decline.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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