Some good earnings reports failed to lift the major benchmarks today as investors worried about trade talks with China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) both declined modestly, but advancing issues outnumbered losers on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Under Armour is still struggling in North America
Athletic clothing specialist Under Armour reported second-quarter results that were not far from Wall Street expectations, but ongoing struggles to grow sales in North America put investors off today, and Class C shares tumbled 13.7%. Revenue increased 1.5% to $1.19 billion, a shade lower than the analyst consensus of $1.2 billion, while the company lost $0.04 per share, an improvement over the $0.21-per-share loss in the period a year ago and $0.01 less than expected.
International sales grew 12%, but North America revenue decreased 3%. The company attributed the decline to softer-than-expected demand in its direct-to-consumer channel, saying it is seeing lower traffic in physical stores and lower conversion rates online. While Under Armour maintained full-year revenue guidance, it now says it expects a slight decline in North America sales, compared with a forecast of flat sales it made three months ago.
Last month, rival Nike reported strong sales gains in North America in its most recent quarter, which may have fueled investor optimism for Under Armour. But today's news and outlook reinforced the view that the company still faces challenges in competing for domestic business.
Price increases didn't faze P&G's customers
Shares of Procter & Gamble rose 3.8% after the consumer staples giant reported results for the fiscal fourth quarter that were significantly above expectations. Net sales grew 3.6% to $17.1 billion, exceeding the $16.9 billion analysts were expecting. Core earnings per share, which excludes an $8 billion noncash impairment charge related to its acquisition of Gillette and other one-time items, rose 17% to $1.10, compared with the consensus estimate of $1.05.
P&G got a boost from price increases while still achieving growth in sales volumes. Pricing contributed 3 percentage points to organic sales, and volumes were up 3%. Improved product mix added another 2%, helping to offset currency headwinds of 4%. The company's largest segment, fabric and home care, had 10% organic sales growth, as did the health care business. Core gross margin increased 1.2 percentage points.
Looking forward, the resurgent consumer staples specialist expects sales to grow between 3% and 4% and core EPS to increase 4% to 9%, with the midpoint of both forecasts exceeding Wall Street consensus estimates.