Nasty US flu season gives Clorox big profits
Sales of disinfectant wipes and bleach are on the rise while Americans battle norovirus and other germs.
Clorox (CLX) sales were up 9% to $1.33 billion last quarter, thanks to a particularly nasty flu season that's increased demand for its disinfecting wipes and the concentrated version of its namesake bleach. Those gains should trickle through the rest of the year, too, as Clorox increased its outlook from an increase between 2% and 4% to a bigger boost somewhere between 3% and 5%.
Sales of Clorox cleaning products alone jumped 15% to $425 million and increased income 28%. Household sales surged 7% and profits rose 65% as both prices and demand increased and a germ-averse public stocked up.
Between strains of flu not covered by this year's flu shot and an absolutely grotesque norovirus import from Australia that's been putting gastrointestinal systems to the test, it's been a tough few weeks fraught with peril and hand washing for the average American.
Germ-slicked menus and wait staff who aren't given sick days have made restaurants dicey propositions for folks who've seen "Contagion" one too many times. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this year's flu outbreak will cost employers upwards of $10 billion for treatment and hospitalization while medical centers are seeing their supplies dwindle to nearly nil.
However, it's not just America's unfortunate bout of illness that has Clorox's numbers looking so well. Sales of its Burt's Bees organic skin care products and Brita water filters helped increase sales within its lifestyle segment by 8%. Also, price hikes around the globe helped increase revenue 3%.
All together, Clorox earned $123 million, or 93 cents per share, in its second quarter. That's not shabby when compared with a profit of $105 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier. Even with U.S. flu season winding down, those multilayered numbers may stay healthy until the worst is over.
More on moneyNOW
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market has languished today, yet it's a stretch to say that sellers have been in total control of the proceedings.
The A/D line at the NYSE favors decliners by a slim 8-to-7 margin; meanwhile, advancers are actually ahead of decliners at the Nasdaq by nearly an 8-to-5 margin.
Those A/D lines pretty much sum things up in the sense that they convey some mixed trading action, which has persisted for most of the day.
Notably, the Russell 2000 is making a ... More
More Market News
Jeremy Siegel is still optimistic about stocks, saying the US economy is the best in the world. Still, he says, we're getting closer to fair values.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'