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Church & Dwight (CHD) Beats on Q1 Earnings & Revenues

Driven by robust organic sales and gross margin expansion, Church & Dwight Co. Inc. CHD, reported first-quarter 2016 earnings per share of 86 cents, which increased 7.5% year over year and also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents.

The top line climbed 4.5% to $849 million and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $828 million. Organic sales grew 5.2% on the back of 5.6% increase in volumes. However, unfavorable product mix and pricing partially limited the upside.

Gross profit inched up 6.6% year over year to $379 million. Gross margin expanded 80 basis points (bps) to 44.6% driven by lower commodities, productivity programs as well as the effect of higher margin businesses.

Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses  increased 12.6% to $107 million during the quarter due to incremental amortization from acquisitions as well as a rise in incentive compensation.

On the other hand, operating income rose 4.3% year over year to $179.5 million in the quarter, while operating margin contracted approximately 10 bps to 21.1%.

Segment Details

Net sales for Consumer Domestic improved 5.4% year over year to $647.8 million. Organic sales also edged up 4.5% in the quarter due to increase in sales of liquid laundry detergent, BATISTE dry shampoo, VITAFUSION gummy vitamins, and the ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL.

Sales at the Consumer International segment increased 5.8% to $127.4 million. Organic sales grew 13.3%, mainly on the back of healthy sales in Europe, Canada and Mexico. Volumes jumped 9.6%. Favorable product mix and pricing contributed 3.7% to sales.

Specialty Products witnessed a 4.6% decrease in sales to $73.8 million. Moreover, the segment recorded a 2% fall in organic sales as well as a 1.4% decline in volume, primarily due to lower milk pricing.

Other Financial Details

Church & Dwight, which shares space with The Procter & Gamble Company PG and The Clorox Company CLX, ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $194.3 million, long-term debt of $699.8 million and shareholders’ equity of $1,920.3 million.

Moreover, the company generated cash from operations of $177.8 million and incurred nearly $8.5 million in capital expenditures in the first three months of 2016.

Outlook

Church & Dwight remains optimistic about its future performance on the back of a stable portfolio of value and premium products, the launch of new and innovative products, aggressive productivity programs and tight management of overhead expenses. Management also remains confident about achieving the 2016 targets despite the stiff competition anticipated in the year.

Church & Dwight expects adjusted earnings in 2016 to grow by roughly 7–9% backed by the ongoing growth momentum, product innovations and increase in gross margin. The company expects reported earnings per share to grow in the range of 13–15%.

Also, the company now expects organic sales growth of 3–4% in 2016 as against 3% growth projected earlier. The company anticipates gross margin expansion of 75 bps year over year. Also, operating margin is estimated to improve nearly 50 bps.

For the second quarter of 2016, the company expects organic sales growth of 2–3%. Earnings per share are envisioned to be $0.79.

At present, Church & Dwight has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another favourably placed stock in this sector is Unilever PLC UL, which holds the same Zacks rank as Church & Dwight.

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UNILEVER PLC (UL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PROCTER & GAMBL (PG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CHURCH & DWIGHT (CHD): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CLOROX CO (CLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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