Procter & Gamble beats expectations but warns over its fourth quarter sending the share price lower

Billy Bambrough
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Procter & Gamble took a hit from foreign exchange, its Venezuela deconsolidation, and completing the sale of its Duracel business (Source: Getty)

Procter & Gamble shares dropped in early trading in New York after the company announced third-quarter earnings above estimates, but warned its results in the fourth quarter will be worse than last year.

The global consumer goods company, which makes everything from shampoo to toilet paper, said profits rose to $2.75bn (£1.88bn), or 97 cents per share, up from $2.15bn, or 75 cents per share over the same period last year.

A FactSet analyst poll consensus was 82 cents per share however revenue missed the consensus of $15.81bn.

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Sales for the quarter totaled $15.76bn, down from $16.93bn, due to the drag from the strong dollar as well as weak demand in oil-dependent countries.

P&G's cost cutting plan is already underway however, in February it announced plans to cut $10bn by digitalising and automating its operations.

Jon Moeller, chief financial officer, said the company was battling a "challenging and volatile macro environment".

With the lower oil prices, many economies that are based on the petroleum complex are struggling. That does affect consumption levels and the sales rates in those markets.

The fall in oil prices forced P&G to cut its 2016 growth forecast for global consumer products market from between three and four per cent to three per cent.

A combination of advertising investments, a higher tax rate, headwinds from foreign exchange and lower non-operating income means total sales are expected to come down to high-single digits in fiscal 2016, and P&G is forecasting a per-share earnings decline of between three and six per cent.

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Over this quarter sales were negatively affected by foreign exchange and a two per cent impact from Venezuela deconsolidation.

The bottom line was boosted however after P&G completed the sale of its Duracell battery business to Berkshire Hathaway in February.

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