Procter & Gamble fourth-quarter core profit falls 4 percent
(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co's PG.N quarterly profit fell less than expected and full-year's earnings should rise at least as much as last year, indicating the world's largest household products maker is making progress with Chief Executive A.G. Lafley back at the helm.
Net profit dropped nearly 50 percent, the company said on Thursday, but core earnings per share, which strip out various factors and are more closely watched by Wall Street, fell 4 percent.
Shares of P&G rose 1.5 percent to $81.50 in premarket trading.
For fiscal 2014, which began in July, P&G forecast core earnings per share rising 5 percent to 7 percent. That includes an expected hit of 6 percentage points from foreign exchange. Those earnings rose 5 percent last year.
P&G earned $1.88 billion, or 64 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter, down from $3.63 billion, or $1.24 per share, a year earlier.
Core earnings per share fell to 79 cents from 82 cents. That beat P&G's forecast of 69 cents to 77 cents and analysts' average estimate of 77 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 2.2 percent to $20.66 billion, topping analysts' average target of $20.55 billion.
Lafley returned on May 23 to replace Bob McDonald, giving P&G, the maker of Gillette razors and Pampers diapers, just a few weeks to make changes before the fiscal year ended on June 30.
Under Lafley, P&G reorganized into four sectors: global baby, feminine and family care; global beauty; global health and grooming; and global fabric and home care. P&G hopes the changes allow faster global expansion, Lafley has said.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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