P&G beats 4Q forecasts but irks activist investor Trian
Jul. 27, 2017
CINCINNATI (AP) — Procter & Gamble reported profit and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations, but it wasn't good enough for at least one major shareholder.
The world's largest consumer products maker posted fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $2.22 billion, beating Wall Street forecasts and the $1.95 billion posted in the same quarter last year. But the company has consistently trailed its competitors, drawing the ire of activist investor Trian Fund Management, led by Nelson Peltz.
In a statement, Trian said P&G "needs to address the root causes of this consistent underperformance, including deteriorating market share across most of its categories and excessive cost and bureaucracy. While P&G says it is addressing the underperformance issue, shareholders have heard similar promises in the past and results have not materially improved."
The maker of Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper has been shedding underperforming brands for years in an attempt to boost profits. Its shares are up almost 7 percent in the past 12 months, but have lagged behind competitors Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive for years.
Trian, which FactSet lists as the fifth largest shareholder with approximately $3.3 billion of P&G shares, suggested appointing Peltz to the Board of Directors.
"Nelson Peltz has been involved with numerous successful turnarounds of consumer brands and businesses, and adding him to the P&G Board will help P&G become best-in-class," Trian said. "As a motivated independent director, he will have a laser focus on long-term shareholder value creation that can accelerate positive change at P&G."
Revenue for fiscal 2017 was $16.1 billion, which beat Street forecasts of $16 billion, but was effectively flat from 2016.
On a per-share basis, the Cincinnati-based company said it had profit of 82 cents. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, were 85 cents per share.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 78 cents per share. P&G had earnings of 69 cents per share for the same quarter last year.
The Cincinnati-based company said organic sales — a closely-watched figure that strips out the effects of foreign currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures — rose 2 percent quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year. P&G said it projects organic sales growth of between 2 percent and 3 percent in fiscal 2018.
P&G shares rose less than 1 percent in midday trading.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on PG at https://www.zacks.com/ap/PG
Keywords: Procter & Gamble, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings