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Colgate-Palmolive Falls 2.5% Despite Q1 Beats

By Eric Volkman - May 4, 2020 at 9:23AM

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The global consumer goods company posted robust growth in most of its regions.

Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL -1.25%) reported its 2020 first-quarter results on Friday before market open. While the sprawling consumer goods giant beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines for the quarter, it pulled its full-year 2020 guidance. This seemed to displease the market.

The company posted just under $4.10 billion in net sales, a 5.5% improvement over the same quarter last year. Net income under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) rose far more precipitously, advancing almost 28% to $715 million ($0.83 per share).

A woman applies toothpaste to a toothbrush.

Image source: Getty Images.

On average, prognosticators following Colgate-Palmolive stock were expecting $4.08 billion on the top line, with per-share earnings of $0.73.

For the quarter, the company enjoyed year-over-year net sales growth across all of its geographies save for Latin America, which was flat over that stretch of time, and Asia Pacific, which was down 9.5%. North American net sales rose by 9%, while Europe posted a 12% gain. Meanwhile, Colgate-Palmolive's Hill's pet nutrition division was a standout, with net sales increasing 20% in Q1.

The company attributed its higher profitability to a mix of factors, including higher pricing and the effects of cost-cutting.

In line with the general trend for American publicly traded companies, Colgate-Palmolive elected to withdraw its guidance for full-year 2020.

It did, however, paint the rest of the year in broad strokes by saying: "we expect some of the additional volume from the first quarter to come out of future quarters, as consumers work through pantry inventory in certain categories. We also expect government actions and consumer behavior related to COVID-19 and economic uncertainty to reduce category growth in many markets."

On Friday, Colgate-Palmolive's share price decline was steeper than the dips posted by the major stock indexes. The company closed the day 2.3% lower.

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