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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Unilever PLC    ULVR   GB00B10RZP78

UNILEVER PLC

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P&G sales growth shy of forecasts as slowing birthrate hurts diaper sales

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01/23/2020 | 11:02am EST
The logo for Procter & Gamble Co. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Procter & Gamble Co on Thursday posted quarterly sales that missed analysts' expectations for the first time in five quarters, hurt by weakness in baby and feminine care products such as Pampers diapers and Tampax tampons.

Shares in P&G were flat in early trading.

A slowing global birthrate has hit P&G and competitors like Huggies diapers maker Kimberly-Clark, particularly in China and the United States. To boost sales, both companies have invested in higher-priced premium products.

Premium baby-care sales in China are up 20-30% so there are still opportunities despite the slow birthrate, Chief Operating Officer Jon Moeller said on a post-earnings call.

U.S. sales growth for diapers and baby care was about flat from a year ago and innovation in the market remains competitive, Moeller said.

The company said net sales rose 4.6% to $18.24 billion, which missed the average analyst estimate of $18.37 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Jefferies analyst Kevin Grundy said Wall Street expectations were built on the company's momentum in the past five quarters, but the modest second-quarter results are likely to be met with disappointment.

"Good quarter, but high bar," he wrote in a note to clients.

In 2018, P&G launched Pampers Pure, plant-based diapers made with zero chlorine bleaching, fragrance or parabens. It has recently teamed up with Google to make a smartphone app that alerts parents when a diaper needs changing. Similarly, Kimberly Clark in July launched a premium Huggies brand, Special Delivery, made from plant-based materials like sugarcane.

Sales of P&G's baby and feminine products rose just 1% to $4.58 billion, while sales of fabric and home care products rose 4% to $5.79 billion, both missing estimates.

The company said inventory levels in Japan fell following a buildup before the nation's sales tax hike in October.

Sales at the grooming business, which makes Gillette razors, rose 2% to $1.65 billion, also below estimates. The company took an $8 billion charge last year related to the unit, which faces competition from smaller rivals Harry's and Dollar Shave Club.

P&G has been investing heavily to develop new products across all categories, improve packaging and marketing as it tries to appeal to younger consumers and fights competition from Unilever, Reckitt-Benckiser and local upstarts.

The company raised its fiscal 2020 forecast for core earnings per share growth to between 8% and 11% from a prior range of a rise of 5%-10%.

Net earnings attributable to P&G rose 16.4% to $3.72 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Excluding one-time items, profit of $1.42 per share beat the average estimate of $1.37.

(This story corrects typographical errors, paragraph 4)

By Richa Naidu and Nivedita Balu

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET -1.25% 1466.17 Delayed Quote.10.85%
FRAGRANCE GROUP LIMITED 0.00% 0.14 End-of-day quote.7.69%
KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION -0.85% 143.42 Delayed Quote.4.27%
PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY 0.12% 125.14 Delayed Quote.0.07%
RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP PLC 1.15% 6150 Delayed Quote.0.34%
UNILEVER PLC 2.42% 4474 Delayed Quote.2.84%
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Financials (EUR)
Sales 2019 52 227 M
EBIT 2019 9 938 M
Net income 2019 6 138 M
Debt 2019 21 180 M
Yield 2019 3,19%
P/E ratio 2019 23,1x
P/E ratio 2020 20,2x
EV / Sales2019 2,97x
EV / Sales2020 2,86x
Capitalization 134 B
Chart UNILEVER PLC
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Technical analysis trends UNILEVER PLC
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TrendsNeutralBearishNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 25
Average target price 54,98  €
Last Close Price 51,86  €
Spread / Highest target 36,9%
Spread / Average Target 6,02%
Spread / Lowest Target -22,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Marijn E. Dekkers Chairman
Nitin Paranjpe Chief Operating Officer
Graeme David Pitkethly Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Richard Slater Chief Research & Development Officer
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
UNILEVER PLC2.84%147 802
PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY0.07%309 027
UNILEVER N.V.1.23%147 802
THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.-0.58%73 884
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LTD6.86%62 907
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY2.57%60 250