Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Consumer earnings offer plenty of good news

May 6, 2010

drpepperCheck out the better-than-expected earnings reports from several consumer companies.

Dr Pepper Snapple, Sara Lee and TreeHouse Foods reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profits, while Liz Claiborne, Elizabeth Arden and K-Swiss posted smaller-than-expected losses.

Dr Pepper, the maker of such soft drinks as its namesake brand as well as A&W, Sunkist, Canada Dry and 7Up, said it was helped by an 8 percent sales volume gain in Latin America. It also raised its full-year profit forecast.

Sara Lee was helped by cost cuts and strength in its Hillshire Farm lunchmeats and Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches. While sales fell short of expectations, the company raised its full-year profit.

TreeHouse cited strong results at its retail grocery business and raised its full-year profit outlook.

Cosmetics maker Arden results were better than expected as sales rose in domestic and international markets. Liz Claiborne’s loss was smaller than expected thanks to strength at its upscale Juicy Couture and Kate Spade brands.

K-Swiss had a mix of good and bad news as the athletic shoe maker also had a smaller than expected loss, but said 2010 sales would be hurt by the closure of a manufacturing facility in Thailand. 

News from overseas was also good, as Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits group, beat forecasts with a big sales rebound, and luxury goods maker Hermes posted a big surge in first-quarter sales. 

The growing optimism is reflected in a new survey. The RBC Consumer Outlook Index climbed to 72.7 in May, up 8.1 points from April, as Americans are beginning to shed their anxiety about the recovery. However, consumers remain very concerned about their personal finances and skeptical about the economy. 

Also in the basket:

Some U.S. retailers miss April sales estimates

McDonald’s aims to expand franchise trial in China

Jones Apparel to buy Stuart Weitzman

Big Lots Q1 sales rise 8 pct

(Reuters photo)

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