P&G announces cautious 2009 financial guidance

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has released earnings expectations for 2010 that failed to live up to Wall Street estimates but shares in the company remained steady.

The maker of Olay and Gillette products said today that it expects earnings of $3.65 to $3.80 per share for the fiscal year 2010, which starts in July.

This estimate is below expectations, as analysts polled by Reuters predicted on average earnings of $3.92 per share.

Flat sales prediction

P&G expects sales growth to hover around zero in the coming fiscal year as its prediction is in the range of up 1 percent to down 2 percent.

The company anticipates organic sales growth of 1 to 3 percent driven mainly by market share growth.

The guidance figures were announced at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions 2009 Conference in New York.

Investment plans

At the event CEO A.G. Lafley and CFO Jon Moeller sought to reassure investors that the company was securing long-term growth.

The two executives said they plan to accelerate innovation, reach more consumers in emerging markets and continue its efforts to improve productivity.

Jon Moeller said: “Fiscal 2010 will be a year of strong investment. We want to position the company strategically and competitively to be even stronger coming out of this global recession.”

BMO Capital Markets analyst Connie Maneaty was upbeat about the P&G figures and the comments made by management.

In a note to investors Maneaty recommended P&G as a buy and said she expects the company’s fundamentals to improve over the coming fiscal year.

She said: “We expected P&G to offer an outlook that pointed to heavy investment to recoup share losses, especially in detergents, and accelerate the investment in faster growth international markets. We believe today’s news represents a solid buy-point.”

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