Monday, February 06, 2006

Strong sales for Clorox in quarter

Strong sales for Clorox in quarter: "

Posted on Fri, Feb. 03, 2006

Strong sales for Clorox in quarter

By George Avalos

Clorox Co. dazzled Wall Street on Thursday with financial results that were much brighter than what analysts expected.

The maker of liquid bleach and other household products said strong sales and the company's quest to slash expenses were the primary propellant for its results in the second quarter that ended Dec. 31.
Oakland-based Clorox (with a manufacturing facility in City of Fairfild, Solano County) earned $83 million, or 55 cents a share, for the October-December period. That was 88 percent below Clorox's prior-year profits. But the per-share results were far above the 47 cents a share that analysts had touted.

The pleasant surprise helped the company's stock soar. Clorox shares finished at $63.08 on Thursday, a gain of $3.12, or 5.2 percent. The improvement in the stock price was especially impressive on a day when the three major stock indices, including the Dow, fell about 1 percent.

The robust sales resulted partly from price increases instituted by Clorox in recent months, the company said. Sales in Clorox's second quarter rose 6.4 percent to $1.06 billion.

'Their performance is amazing,' said Bob Goldsborough, an analyst with Ariel Capital Management, an investment company whose $19.4 billion in assets includes Clorox shares. 'The price increases for their products are sticking, they have done a heroic job in controlling costs, and they seem optimistic and confident about where things are going.'

Clorox offered a rosy outlook on multiple fronts. The company increased its full-year earnings forecast to as much as $3.07 a share. Clorox now expects sales for the full year"

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