- Procter and Gamble reported 10% sales growth for the first quarter of 2020 on Friday.
- The uptick was fueled by a surge in Americans buying toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and other essentials.
- The company upped its dividend it plans to pay investors, bucking a global business slump.
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Procter and Gamble, the conglomerate behind household staples in high demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, bucked a global business slump on Friday, reporting a 10% uptick in US sales as consumers stocked up in the first quarter.
The company behind brands like Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet paper also increased the dividend amount it plans to pay investors by 6%, but warned it wasn’t immune to the virus’ headwinds. For fiscal 2020, the company now decreased its expectations for sales to 3% to 4%, where it previously expected up to 5%.
Among the best performers in the first three months of the year were categories like Fabric and Home Care, which includes Vick’s and other cold-care medicines, and Home Care and Baby.
But Americans didn’t stock up on everything as the virus spread across the country. Grooming and shaving products sales decreased by one percent compared to a year ago, as did its beauty segment.
“Our organization has been doing a terrific job against our near-term priorities – protecting the health and safety of each other, maximizing availability of P&G products to meet heightened consumer need and helping society meet and overcome the challenges of this crisis,” David Taylor, Procter and Gamble’s chief executive, said in a press release.
Shares of the company fell about 0.62% in early trading Friday as investors digested the results and looked to future quarters now that the virus has infected more than 671,000 Americans, most of whom are currently required to shelter-at-home.
“While the print may have disappointed some lofty expectations,” JPMorgan analysts said, “we still think +6% organic revenue growth, stronger EPS, and dividend raise should not be overlooked and relatively appreciated in this environment.”