Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG) — The Blue Chip Heavyweight Stays Nimble
Earnings info: Earned $1.06 a share compared to $1.03 a year ago in the same period. Analysts expected $.99 cents a share.
Sales dropped 6%, missing consensus estimates by just a fraction.
P&G executives said their optimism is tempered by continued high unemployment in the recession.
Comment: Under new CEO Bob McDonald, P&G has a fresh perspective being injected into the Mothership of the corporate sea. Pantene and Head & Shoulders shampoos and Gillette Fusion shavers were among the strongest selling brands within the product portfolio. The company reported weak numbers for Duracell batteries, Braun, and Pringles snacks, three brands that analysts have rumored P&G should put on the selling block. P&G upped its organic sales forecast, giving investors another reason to feel safe about the front running recession bull, not to mention the 3% dividend delivery too.
Kellogg (NYSE: K) — Snap, Crackle, Pop goes Kellogg Stock
Earnings info: Earned $.94 cents a share, compared to $.89 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Kellogg’s earnings beat the consensus earnings estimate by .06 cents.
Sales were in-line and the same as sales from last year.
Kellogg’s CEO David Mackay said he anticipates the economy isn’t likely to improve through 2010 and consumers will likely continue to feel some pressures.
Comment: This Blue Chip company preserved brand strength with its household food products. K has shown sales consistency throughout the recession. Their cost cutting plan has proved instrumental to the success of the company. If you’re looking for steady safety, Kellogg also pays a 3% dividend.
MetLife (NYSE: MET) — More like MetDeath
Earnings info: Lost $.79 cents a share compared to a profit of $.83 cents a share in the same period a year ago. That’s a huge negative swing to stomach for investors. Excluding a $1.4 billion dollar investment loss which caused the overall net income loss for the quarter, the company met the consensus earnings estimates.
Revenues fell 1.2% year over year, beating the consensus by a hair.
With hubris in the face of a billion dollar loss for the quarter, Chief Executive Robert Henrikson said, “Our businesses are performing well as evidenced by increased sales in a number of product areas in both the U.S. and internationally.”
Comment: Anytime I hear the word “loss”, I steer clear of the investment path. The losses at Metlife were once again attributable to the complex financial instruments that caused the credit crisis: derivatives. Losses due to derivatives equal doom. I’d be looking to other sectors far away from Metlife for a better trade or investment.
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