The Procter & Gamble's (PG) net sales grew 5% in its fiscal fourth quarter to $18.9 billion from $18.1 billion in the same quarter last year, but came in below Wall Street expectations. Net earnings fell to $2.2 billion from $2.5 billion. Earning per share dropped 9% to 71 cents per share from 80 cents in the fourth quarter last year, missing estimates of 73 cents per share.
P&G said organic sales grew 4% for the quarter and that volume growth accelerated to 8%, the fastest pace of organic growth in 22 quarters.
For the year, net sales increased 3% to $78.9 billion. Net earnings from continuing operations increased 2% driven by sales growth and operating margin expansion, partially offset by a higher tax rate. Earnings per share from continuing operations increased 4% to $3.53 in fiscal 2010.
For the current quarter, the company expects net sales growth of 3% and organic sales growth of 3% to 5%. It estimates earnings from continuing operations and core EPS to be in the range of 97 cents to $1.01. For the year, net sales are expected to increase 2% to 4% and organic sales 4% to 6%. In fiscal 2011, P&G expects net earnings from continuing operations and core EPS in the range of $3.91 to $4.01.
"We are executing on all three dimensions of our growth strategy," said Chairman, President and CEO Bob McDonald. "Our results in fiscal 2010 were ahead of our original expectations, and we are pleased with the trend of the business. The investments we've made in innovation, marketing support and consumer value have delivered accelerating unit volume and profitable market share growth throughout the year, which are clear indications that our strategy is working."
PG shares fell some 3% in premarket trading.
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