AP News

Price hikes help Clorox 4Q profit

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Price increases and a focus on costs helped lift Clorox's profit in its latest quarter.

The maker of bleach, Glad trash bags and other consumer products said Thursday that results in the quarter reflected higher prices for its products, which helped offset sales volume declines, and efforts to control overhead costs, although expenses for manufacturing rose. The company expects higher costs for materials and higher expenses in some international markets this year.

Clorox's fiscal fourth-quarter net income increased 5 percent, to $183 million, or $1.37 per share. That compares with $174 million, or $1.32 per share, in the April-June period in 2012.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of $1.35 per share.

Revenue was almost unchanged at $1.55 billion, below Wall Street's prediction of $1.57 billion. Volumes dropped 3 percent due to declines in home care and charcoal products, as well as in Clorox's international business. Overall, overseas sales dipped 1 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar. An increase in the dollar's value eats into income generated outside the U.S. Excluding the effect of currency changes, revenue grew 1.5 percent, bolstered by price increases.

For the full year, Clorox earned $572 million, or $4.30 per share. A year earlier the Oakland, Calif., company earned $541 million, or $4.09 per share. Revenue rose 3 percent to $5.62 billion.

For the current fiscal year, which runs through June 2014, Clorox Co. expects earnings of $4.55 to $4.70 per share, with revenue up 2 percent to 4 percent. That implies $5.73 billion to $5.85 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of $4.61 per share on revenue of $5.81 billion.

Shares were unchanged at $85.94 in morning trading. The stock has gained 17 percent this year.

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