Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The consumer products earnings parade

April 30, 2008

cheese.jpgCheck out consumer product powerhouses including Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Colgate, inundating Wall Street with quarterly reports on Wednesday.

The reports largely showed that the companies are finding successful ways to navigate the consumer spending slowdown and the commodity price surge that has raised their cost of doing business.

P & G, world’s largest consumer products maker, with brands ranging from Pampers diapers to Olay skin-care products, posted higher quarterly profit. It said cost controls helped offset soaring prices for oil and other commodities.

Kraft, whose brands that include Oreo cookies and Oscar Mayer lunch meat, reported a drop in quarterly profit as the largest North American food maker company was hit by soaring costs for oil and ingredients such as wheat, and spending on new products and marketing. But the results were better than analysts were expecting as price increases and new products lifted sales.

Colgate-Palmolive posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by strong sales outside the United States and higher prices that helped offset soaring commodity costs. 

And Kellogg, the world’s largest breakfast cereal maker, posted higher-than expected profits as price increases helped offset soaring commodity costs.  The maker of Frosted Flakes and Keebler cookies also raised its dividend and stood by its full-year earnings forecast, though it said it expects commodity costs to rise more than originally planned. 

Also in the basket:

Reynolds American profit disappoints, stock dips

Penney CEO cautiously optimistic on better holiday

Dean Foods 1st-quarter profit falls

OfficeMax net up on one-time gain; sales fall

(Photo: Reuters)

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