Procter & Gamble's Mixed Quarter is Pushing Shares Higher

Procter & Gamble , one of the world's largest companies, has just released second-quarter results that were mixed compared to analyst estimates. This global giant is in the midst of restructuring its international units, leaving expectations low, so the results are pushing the stock much higher. Let's take a look at the quarter and decide if we should be buying right now or if we should wait to see if the rally can be sustained. 

The worldwide powerhouse
Procter & Gamble, or P&G, is one of the world's leading consumer-goods companies. It is home to the largest lineup of industry-leading brands; in fact, it is home to 25 billion-dollar brands, including Tide, Gain, Downy, Gillette, Charmin, Pampers, Duracell, and Crest. The company currently operates in 70 countries and its products are available in over 180 countries, serving approximately 4.8 billion people.

The report
Second-quarter results for fiscal 2014 were released before the market opened on Friday Here's a breakdown of the report:

Earnings Per Share$1.21$1.20
Revenue$22.28 billion$22.35 billion

P&G's core earnings per share decreased 1%, and revenue remained unchanged year-over-year, as organic sales grew 3%. Gross profit fell 1% to $11.15 billion, as a direct result of the gross margin declining 90 basis points to 50%. The highlight of the quarter came in the volume statistics, in which all of Procter's segments showed growth: 

SegmentVolume Growth
Health Care6%
Fabric/Home Care5%
Baby/Feminine/Family Care3%

Volume data aside, the quarterly results may seem bad, but the company faced several charges relating to its restructuring that will eventually result in increased productivity and cost savings; P&G is willing to take the hit now in order to prosper in future quarters and investors should too. It also helped that the company maintained its full-year guidance...

The year's outlook
As a buffer to the better-than-expected earnings results, P&G affirmed its full-year outlook for fiscal 2014, calling for the following results:

MetricExpected Growth
Reported EPS7%-9%
Core EPS5%-7%
Net Sales1%-2%
Organic Sales3%-4%

Being able to show this decent line of growth is impressive for a company that is restructuring and I think this is the reason the stock is rising in the day's trading. Adding to the bullishness, CEO A.G. Lafley stated, "We expect strong earnings growth in the second half of the fiscal year driven by solid top-line growth, moderating headwinds from foreign exchange, and productivity savings that build throughout the year." I believe in the company and its leaders, making me very bullish on the stock going forward.

Competitor due out shortly
One of Procter & Gamble's largest competitors, Church & Dwight , is about to release earnings of its own. The company is home to brands such as Arm & Hammer, Trojan, First Response, Nair, Oxi Clean, and Kaboom, and is also the leading producer of baking soda in the United States. Its fourth-quarter results are due out on Feb. 4 and the current estimates look like this:

MetricExpectedYear Ago
Earnings Per Share$0.66$0.57
Revenue$823.5 million$809.7 million

These expectations call for earnings per share to increase 15.8% and revenue to grow 1.7% from the same period a year ago. Other than the key metrics, it will be important for Church & Dwight to provide an outlook for 2014 that is within or above Wall Street's estimates; the current expectations call for earnings of $2.77-$2.81 per share on revenue of about $3.2 billion. After Procter's better-than-expected earnings, I am confident that Church & Dwight will also exceed expectations. Take a look at this one if you are not a fan of P&G.


The Foolish bottom line
Procter & Gamble is a global giant that will continue to grow as its restructuring nears completion. On top of price appreciation, the company will return additional cash to shareholders via its healthy 3% dividend which has been raised for 57 consecutive years running. Keep a close eye on P&G and consider buying on any weakness following the rally.

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Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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