Procter & Gamble
For the fourth quarter, Procter & Gamble reported fourth-quarter profit up 9% to $1.50 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share, beating analysts' estimates by a penny. Sales increased 10% to $14.26 billion. Organic volume growth, which takes out the impacts of acquisitions and sales of assets, increased 7%. When it comes to the fiscal year, Procter & Gamble's earnings increased 15% to $2.66 per share, with sales increasing 10% to $56.74 billion.
The industry has seen some interesting developments in recent history. For example, Procter & Gamble's acquisition of Gillette will give the company an even larger stable of consumer-oriented products. Recently, another competitor, Colgate-Palmolive
On the other hand, there was some margin weakness as high commodity prices had an impact. However, such concerns fly in the face of the fact that Procter & Gamble posted a perfectly respectable quarter and seems to be cognizant of its task to continue to sustain long-term growth.
Procter & Gamble provides a whole stable of household names such as Charmin, Febreze, Swiffer, Pampers, Crest, and many more, but it also provides popular over-the-counter medications, such as the heartburn drug Prilosec.
Furthermore, Procter & Gamble said in its conference call that once it has acquired Gillette, it will be a more balanced company, with half of its sales and earnings coming from the beauty, health, and personal care segments and half coming from baby, family, and household brands.
Although margins and commodity prices -- and the fact that the company didn't ratchet up its guidance for the coming fiscal year -- might throw a slight shadow, it seems to me that long-term investors have little to be concerned about when it comes to this capable giant. In good times and bad, Procter & Gamble might be considered one of the pictures of stability with its collection of popular brands, and with the coming addition of Gillette, which got Warren Buffett's blessing, things look pretty upbeat for the company.
For more on Procter & Gamble, see the following Foolish content:
- Is P&G making a gamble with ads?
- Some say this company's pen is mightier than the stain.
- Check out Procter & Gamble's third-quarter earnings.
- Read again about P&G's acquisition of Gillette.
Colgate-Palmolive is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.