Procter & Gamble 3Q results mixed, sales decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Procter & Gamble’s fiscal third-quarter results were mixed, as earnings rose even though sales fell on weakness in categories such as grooming and beauty and a strong dollar.

For the three months ended March 31, the company — whose brands include Bounty, Charmin and Crest — earned $2.75 billion, or 97 cents per share. A year earlier it earned $2.15 billion, or 75 cents per share.

Removing certain items, earnings were 86 cents per share. This topped the 82 cents per share analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue slipped to $15.78 billion from $16.93 billion, hindered by a strong dollar, minor brand divestitures and the Venezuela deconsolidation. The performance was below the $15.81 billion that Wall Street forecast.

The biggest sales decline came in the grooming category, which was down 10 percent. Beauty and family care sales both declined 8 percent. Health care sales fell 7 percent.

Procter & Gamble Co. said Tuesday that it now anticipates fiscal 2016 core earnings will be down 3 percent to 6 percent compared with the prior year’s $3.76 per share. It still foresees a mid-single digit increase in core earnings per share, on a constant currency basis. Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $3.62 per share.

The Cincinnati-based company said that it expects fourth-quarter core earnings per share to be “significantly lower” than year-ago results due to increased advertising investments, a higher tax rate, pressure from the strong dollar and lower non-operating income.

Its shares rose 43 cents to $81.84 in premarket trading about an hour ahead of the market open.

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