Procter & Gamble
Not from where I sit. Net sales for the quarter grew by 8% and came in at $19.7 billion. Operating income increased 12% to $4.4 billion. Net profit was $2.9 billion. Diluted earnings per share equaled $0.84, representing growth of 17%.
P&G's operations are doing an excellent job of finding sales opportunities and translating them into instruments for enhancing shareholder value. Going through some of the segments, we see firm revenue growth. Beauty and health increased its sales by 8%. Health-care products achieved 7% sales appreciation. Household care went up by 11%, the same growth seen by the blades and razors segment. The Gillette acquisition continues to impress, proving yet again that the acquisition was worth the dilution hassle. Overall organic sales and volume saw a 5% increase, and all this while jostling for prime real estate on retail shelves with Colgate-Palmolive
This isn't rocket-to-the-moon growth, but that's OK; this is quality large-cap solidity, and it tends to throw off a generous amount of cash flow. Free cash flow came in at $1.78 billion for last quarter -- dividend payments presented no challenge with this level of green stuff. P&G promotes the metric of free cash flow productivity, which is the ratio of free cash to net earnings. Productivity for the quarter was 62%, while the six-month timeframe saw productivity of 75%. These numbers are lower than management's goal of consistently hitting the 90% threshold. Therefore, P&G has a little ways to go in terms of the statistic, but don't fret yet. The company still has two quarters to go, and on the surface at least, management appears confident that 90% is attainable.
The company is looking for fiscal 2007 to reach at least 13% in earnings-per-share growth. The positive outlook is based on a few factors, including the margin quality. Gross and operating margins are expected to be strong and to drive bottom-line success. Another factor is the Gillette business -- the synergies resulting from this acquisition will continue to precipitate cost savings. Organic sales growth should remain in a range between 5% and 6%, with total sales coming in between 10% and 12%.
Do you like sleeping at night? If so, then P&G stock is for you. My opinion on this company hasn't changed -- it remains a wonderful core holding, one that's useful to hold during bear markets and/or recessions. Don't worry, though. You can hold P&G during bull markets, too. Some say it's a great stock for 2007 -- I'd agree with that. It might even be a great stock for the next 50 years. Always check in on it, as there will surely be bumps in the road here and there going forward. For now, it sells a lot of products that people use every day, and it produces a lot of free cash flow. The market may have given the stock's earnings a lackluster reception yesterday, but I don't care. I like P&G's future prospects.
Have some more Foolish fun with Procter & Gamble:
- Fool on the Street: P&G Still Going Strong
- P&G's Razor-Sharp Q1: Fool by Numbers
- The Best Blue Chip for 2007: Procter & Gamble
Colgate-Palmolive is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. If you're interested in finding great companies at good prices, take a free 30-day trial to the newsletter service today. That should help you sleep at night.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 7,534 out of 21,224 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.