Procter & Gamble tops earnings, revenue estimates even as higher prices drive some consumers away

Tide laundry detergent is shown on display in Compton, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Procter & Gamble on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, despite volume falling for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Shares of the company rose more than 2% in early trading.

Here’s what P&G reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.83 vs. $1.72 expected
  • Revenue: $21.87 billion vs. $21.58 billion expected

P&G reported fiscal first-quarter net income attributable to the company of $4.52 billion, or $1.83 per share, up from $3.94 billion, or $1.57 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 6% to $21.87 billion. The company’s organic revenue increased 7% in the quarter, helped by higher prices for P&G’s products.

But the company’s volume shrank 1%. The metric excludes the impact of currency and pricing changes to reflect demand.

For roughly two years, P&G has been raising prices on its products like Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper.

“For obvious reasons we don’t comment on the future direction of pricing, but I will tell you that we’re happy with where we sit currently,” CEO Jon Moeller said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

P&G hasn’t gotten any pushback from retailers about its higher prices, beyond “normal discussions” about maximizing customer value, CFO Andre Schulten told analysts on the company’s conference call.

But some consumers aren’t happy with P&G’s higher prices. Some shoppers have switched to cheaper private-label alternatives as a result, and P&G said it saw “pricing-related volume declines” across many of its brands. However, its volume declines have narrowed in recent quarters, and the company expects to report volume growth for the fiscal year.

The company’s baby, feminine and family care segment reported its volume fell 3%. The division includes brands like Pampers and Bounty.

P&G’s grooming segment, which includes Venus and Gillette products, reported a 2% drop in volume.

The company’s fabric and home-care business saw its volume shrink 1%, even as customers bought more of its premium cleaning products, which include Swiffer and Cascade.

P&G’s health-care division was the only segment to report volume growth for the quarter. The company said it saw strong demand for respiratory products, like those made by Vicks.

The company also widened its outlook for fiscal 2024 revenue as it anticipates that foreign exchange rates could be a larger drag than previously expected. The company now projects revenue growth of 2% to 4%, rather than its prior forecast of 3% to 4%.

P&G reiterated its full-year forecast for organic revenue growth, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign currency, and for earnings per share growth. But Schulten warned about economic conditions that could weaken performance, like rising energy costs heading into the winter, lower household savings rates and the health of the Chinese market.

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