Colgate-Palmolive and Mead Johnson Nutrition Shares in Trading Spotlight After Earnings

Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE:CL) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the personal products company fell to $590 million ($1.21 per share) vs. $624 million ($1.24 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 5.4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 4.9% to $4.17 billion from the year earlier quarter. CL reported adjusted net income of $1.30 per share. By that measure, the company was about in line with expectations as the mean analyst estimate was $1.29 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $4.19 billion.

Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented on the results and outlook excluding the 2011 and 2010 items noted above, “We are pleased to have finished the year with excellent top-line momentum and to have achieved our profit goals, despite continuing increases in material costs, an intense competitive environment and volatile macroeconomic conditions worldwide.”

Competitors to Watch: The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG), Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (NYSE:CHD), The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX), CCA Industries, Inc. (AMEX:CAW), Unilever plc (NYSE:UL), Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE:KMB), PC Group, Inc. (PCGR), and Alberto-Culver Company (NYSE:ACV).

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE:MJN) in the fourth quarter as profit dropped from a year earlier. Net income for the processed and packaged goods company fell to $85.6 million (42 cents per share) vs. $99.6 million (48 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 14.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 13.4% to $911.3 million from the year earlier quarter. MJN reported adjusted net income of 52 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 51 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $897.9 million.

“We delivered $0.52 in non-GAAP earnings in the fourth quarter of 2011, largely in line with our earlier expectations,” said Chief Executive Officer Stephen W. Golsby. “On a full year basis, sales grew at a record rate of 17 percent with non-GAAP EPS up 15 percent. We achieved exceptional double-digit sales growth in Asia/Latin America. The North America/Europe segment grew in the low single-digits even as births continued to decline in these developed markets. We continued to increase investments in demand-generation activities to support our profitable growth. In addition, we achieved a record level of productivity, which helped reduce the impact of higher commodity costs. In 2011, we completed our SAP installation and shared service transition on time and for the first time in our history have a common global, and fully independent, IT platform. Our exceptional financial performance continues to reflect our strong global growth strategy, and we expect that 2012 will be another successful year for Mead Johnson.”

Competitors to Watch: Synutra Intl., Inc. (NASDAQ:SYUT), Feihe International Inc (NYSE:ADY), Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods OJSC (NYSE:WBD), Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) and Lifeway Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:LWAY).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com