Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble
The deal has the blessing of Gillette's single largest shareholder, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
Earnings came in ahead of expectations, climbing 12% to $2.04 billion, on sales that rose 9% to $14.45 billion. Like rival Kimberly-Clark
Each of the company's business segments delivered top-line growth, ranging from 5% in snacks and coffee to double-digit gains in household care, baby and family care, and beauty care. In the oral care market, where Procter & Gamble's Crest toothpaste and whitening products compete fiercely with Colgate-Palmolive's
With strong growth at the year's midway point (most of it organic), management has decided to lift its second-half outlook and is now forecasting full-year per-share earnings of $2.61 to $2.64. Assuming the merger is completed as planned, the new entity will be a consumer products juggernaut, with a commanding market share lead in a number of categories and $60 billion in annual sales. The larger company would not only pressure rivals, but also have greater clout and more leverage with retailers like Wal-Mart
Throw in an expected $18 billion to $22 billion in stock buybacks over the next 18 months (to mitigate the dilutive impact of shares issued for the merger) and a healthy dividend that has been steadily rising, and Procter & Gamble looks poised to prosper.
Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns none of the companies mentioned.