There’s a pattern here: If you’re a big enough consumer goods company with the ability to raise prices and not hurt sales, then the just-ended quarter was a pretty good quarter.
Today, October 18, Proctor & Gamble reported fiscal first quarter net sales of $21.9 billion, up 6% from the prior year vs.a Wall Street consensus projection of $21.62 billion. Organic sales growth (that is sales discounting business acquisitions) rose 7% vs. a 5.8% Wall Street estimate.Operating profits were $5.76 billion vs. an estimate of $5.34 billion. Adjusted earnings per share rose 17% year-over-year to $1.83 versus a Wall Street projection of $1.72 a share.
One item in the report really popped out to me. A 7% increase in prices offset a 1% drop in global volumes. In the United States, volume rose by about 3%, the company said.
The similarity to PepsiCo’s third quarter earnings report is striking: Both companies reported very solid increases in dollar sales even as volume sales were dropping. An inflationary economy isn’t a bad thing if a company can raise prices faster than the rate of inflation and has the brand power to keep consumers buying anyway.
The downside, of course, is that not every consumer goods company has that pricing power.
On the report shares of Procter & Gamble rose 2.58%. The stock was down 1.65% for the year as of the close on October 17 and down 4.70% in the last month. The shares trade at 25.4 times trailing 12-month earnings and pay a dividend yield of 2.57%.
Looking forward, Procter & Gamble reiterated its fiscal 2024 profit outlook in a range of $6.25 to $6.43 a share. CEO Jon Moeller said the company is on track for the higher end of its organic sales and adjusted earnings guidance in the current fiscal year. And that the company’s global shipment volumes will improve through this fiscal year.