Procter & Gamble raises outlook on soaring profit

Procter & Gamble reported Friday profit more than doubled in the fiscal second quarter from a year ago, beating market expectations, and raised its forecasts for the year.

The US consumer goods giant said profit jumped 140 percent due to strong productivity gains and the effects of cost-saving efforts.

Net income rose to $4.1 billion, or $1.39 per share, compared with the year-ago figure of $1.7 billion, or 57 cents per share, the company said.

The results were well above analyst expectations.

Core earnings per share, which strips out special items and other items not related to sustainable earnings, were $1.22, sharply more than the $1.11 estimated.

Revenues came in at $22.18 billion, above the $21.91 billion forecast by analysts.

Shares in the Dow member were up 3.5 percent at $72.87 in late-afternoon trade in New York.

"Global market share trends improved as we continued to implement our growth strategy and made very good progress against our productivity and cost-savings goals," said chief executive Bob McDonald.

"Our strong first-half results have enabled us to raise our sales, earnings and share repurchase outlook for the fiscal year."

Procter & Gamble, which manufactures Pampers diapers, Head and Shoulders shampoo and other household products, said its growth was broad-based and that all five of its business segments grew organic sales by at least two percent.

The biggest growth came in the company's baby care and family care segment with 5 percent.

Procter & Gamble raised its full-year 2013 core earnings guidance to $3.97-$4.07 from the previous range of $3.80-$4.00.

In a conference call with analysts, P&G executives said the company had completed most of a previously announced downsizing to trim costs. In February, the company announced it was cutting 5,700 non-manufacturing posts. McDonald said that 5,500 of the job cuts had already been implemented.

At the end of October, the Cincinatti, Ohio-based company had a total of 126,000 employees. The group did not give figures for the end of December.

Procter & Gamble also raised its forecast of 2013 share repurchases to a range of $5-6 billion, up from the previous range of $4-6 billion.

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