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    ULVR   GB00B10RZP78

UNILEVER PLC

(ULVR)
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Unilever : Higher commodity, freight costs dent Clorox's full-year profit forecast

04/30/2021 | 06:47am EDT

April 30 (Reuters) - Cleaning products company Clorox Co on Friday forecast full-year earnings below estimates and a drop in gross margins, blaming higher manufacturing, commodity and logistics costs.

Consumer product makers are battling higher prices for commodities, including pulp, resin and petrochemicals, as well as supply disruptions due to transportation bottlenecks caused by the pandemic. Some industries are also facing labor shortages.

Clorox, which uses pulp and petrochemicals in its products such as wipes and bleaches, said rising raw material costs coupled with higher freight and manufacturing expenses, resulted in the first contraction in its quarterly gross margins in 10 quarters.

The company's shares fell as much as 6% in pre-market trading, before recouping some of the losses.

While rivals Procter & Gamble and Unilever are raising prices, Clorox did not disclose plans to hike prices to counter the higher costs.

Clorox reported gross margins of 45.5% for fiscal 2020, boosted by feverish demand during the pandemic and a reduction in several product lines to focus on improving capacities for its wipes and bleaches.

Signs are emerging, however, that people are cutting back on using surface cleaners and other disinfectant products, as vaccinations gather pace.

Clorox said it shipped fewer shipments of cleaning and disinfecting products to retail and professional customers in the third quarter, when compared to the same period a year earlier.

Supply constraints for some key products and tough comparison to last year led to flat sales growth in the quarter, at $1.78 billion that missed the $1.87 billion expectation. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.62, above the average analyst estimate of $1.48, according to Refinitiv data.

For the full year, Clorox expects adjusted profit of $7.45 to $7.65 per share, below the $8.35 estimate. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila)


© Reuters 2021
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Financials
Sales 2021 51 070 M 62 112 M 62 112 M
Net income 2021 5 941 M 7 225 M 7 225 M
Net Debt 2021 22 283 M 27 100 M 27 100 M
P/E ratio 2021 22,5x
Yield 2021 3,40%
Capitalization 129 B 157 B 157 B
EV / Sales 2021 2,96x
EV / Sales 2022 2,85x
Nbr of Employees 148 949
Free-Float 98,1%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 19
Average target price 4 586,20 GBX
Last Close Price 4 273,00 GBX
Spread / Highest target 28,7%
Spread / Average Target 7,33%
Spread / Lowest Target -18,1%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Graeme David Pitkethly Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Nils Smedegaard Andersen Chairman
Richard Slater Chief Research & Development Officer
Nitin Paranjpe Chief Operating Officer
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