For now, the U.S. consumer is looking financially strong enough to withstand inflation-driven price increases on things like Tide detergent and Head & Shoulders shampoo from consumer products king P&G.
“The price increases that we’ve put into the market just recently only have been reflected on the shelf for about a month, so it’s a little bit early to tell, I feel good based on the strength of the consumer, the strength of our offerings, and their superiority within their categories,” P&G Vice Chairman Jon Moeller told Yahoo Finance Live. “We have products available at different price points for consumers with different needs, and a very, very strong innovation program supporting all of that.”
Moeller will succeed David Taylor as P&G’s CEO on Nov. 1.
On Tuesday, P&G reported volume gains in all five of its business lines for its first fiscal quarter. Volume increases were led by a 3% increase in the company’s health care segment. Sales rose faster than volume in all segments, reflecting P&G’s recent price increases and consumers not balking too much at the hikes.
Here is how P&G performed in its fiscal first quarter compared to Wall Street estimates.
Net Sales: $20.34 billion vs. $19.89 billion
Organic Revenue Growth: +4% vs. +2.1%
Diluted EPS: $1.61 vs. $1.59
Fiscal Year Outlook:
Organic Revenue Growth: +2% to +4% (reiterated) vs. +3.8%
Core EPS Growth: +3% to +6% (reiterated) vs. +5%
P&G’s shares fell slightly in pre-market trading Tuesday despite the earnings beat, as traders likely fretted two elements to the quarter. Beauty segment sales fell slightly below analyst estimates. Meanwhile, P&G lifted its fiscal year inflation outlook to a $2.1 billion hit from $1.9 bill previously.
Moeller says inflation in commodities and transportation remain major headwinds.
“It is a significant inflationary cycle. As opposed to prior cycles, we’re in a better place from a product superiority standpoint and we’re in a much better place from a cost productivity standpoint. We’ve built those muscles over the last decade, and those should stand us in good stead. As we work our way through the current situation. We see this as a rough patch from a bottom line standpoint for a period of time, but a patch we should continue to grow through and invest walking forward to opportunities, not stepping back,” Moeller said.