(By Balachander) Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) shares retreated 2.35 percent in premarket after the consumer-products giant reduced its fourth-quarter earnings and sales guidance, blaming market-share softness in developed markets and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
The weak forecast from the Ohio-based company, which is slashing roughly 5,700 non-manufacturing jobs by the end of fiscal year 2013 to reduce costs, comes after its disappointing third-quarter results in April due to rise in commodity costs. PG also slashed its 2012 earnings view.
PG now expects core earnings per share (EPS) in the range of 75 cents to 79 cents from prior expectations of 79 cents to 85 cents for the fourth quarter.
Net sales for the three months ending June 2012 are currently projected to fall in the range of one percent to two percent versus a growth of one percent to two percent forecasted earlier. It now sees organic sales growth between two percent and three percent, down from prior view of four percent to five percent growth.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expect EPS of 82 cents on sales decline of 1.00 percent.
For fiscal 2013, the company expects core EPS growth to be mid-to-high single digits on organic sales growth between two and four percent.
For the third quarter, PG's core EPS of 94 cents were flat with last year and net earnings dropped 15 percent. Net sales grew 2 percent to $20.19 billion. Gross margin contracted 150 basis points and operating margin also shrank 230 basis points to 16.3 percent. For 2012, the company sees core EPS in the range of $3.82 to $3.88 on net sales growth of four percent.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $57.56 and $67.95, ended Tuesday's regular trading at $62.21.