Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL) reported better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 but shares fell 3.2% in premarket hours on Friday.
Worldwide net sales declined 2% year-over-year to $3.81 billion while organic sales grew 2%. Global unit volume rose 0.5%. The professional skin care acquisitions contributed 1% to net sales and unit volume growth during the quarter.
On a GAAP basis, net income was $606 million or $0.70 per share compared to $323 million or $0.37 per share in the prior-year quarter. Last year’s earnings results were impacted by higher aftertax charges from the Global Growth and Efficiency Program and a charge of $275 million related to the US tax reform.
On an adjusted basis, net income dropped 3% to $638 million and diluted EPS fell 1% to $0.74 from the prior-year period.
Colgate plans to increase investments in its brands, e-commerce capabilities and in its professional skin care businesses, Elta MD and PCA Skin. The company is also looking to expand its portfolio by rolling out its elmex and meridol brands into new markets.
Colgate posted sales declines in all its regions except for North America which saw a growth of 5% in sales and 3% in unit volume. Net sales in the Hill’s Pet Nutrition segment grew 6% during the quarter.
For 2019, Colgate expects net sales to be flat to up low-single-digits, with organic sales growth of 2-4%. On a GAAP basis, based on current spot rates, the company expects to see gross margin expansion and a low-single-digit decline in EPS. Adjusted EPS is expected to decline in the mid-single-digit range.
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