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P&G beats profit estimates as consumers stock up on toilet rolls, detergents

(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) beat expectations for quarterly profit on Friday as consumers stocked up on everything from diapers and detergents to toilet rolls amid sweeping lockdowns around the world to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Procter & Gamble Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

P&G, which sells its product in more than 180 countries, recorded sales growth in three of its five units, sending its shares up 1.3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in early trading on Friday.

The company also said it expects to pay over $7.5 billion in dividends and repurchase $7 billion to $8 billion in shares in fiscal 2020.

Sales at its health care unit rose 7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}, while fabric, home care unit sales rose 8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}. The baby and feminine products business logged a 6{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} rise in sales. Beauty and grooming were the two segments where sales fell.

Many of the company’s products, including Bounty paper towels, Charmin toilet paper, Pampers diapers and Tampax tampons, have been in demand across U.S. supermarkets in the past few weeks.

For the third quarter ended March 31, net sales rose about 5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $17.21 billion as consumers stocked up during the last few weeks of the quarter in the United States.

Analysts were expecting sales of $17.46 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.17 per share, beating Wall Street estimates by 4 cents.

Net earnings attributable to the company rose to $2.92 billion, or $1.12 per share, in the quarter, from $2.75 billion, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

The company, however, cut its full-year sales growth target 3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}-4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} from its prior forecast of 4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}-5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to account for currency fluctuation.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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