Procter & Gamble Profit Beats Expectations

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) said on Thursday quarterly profit rose 12 percent, driven by volume growth and higher prices, together with cost-cutting and the weak dollar.

The maker of Crest toothpaste (search), Tide laundry detergent and other household items also raised its earnings outlook for the year.

P&G announced the results a day earlier than expected and said it would hold a meeting early on Friday at which it would discuss second-quarter earnings and give "other information."

Profit rose to $2.04 billion, or 74 cents per share, in P&G's fiscal second quarter, from $1.82 billion, or 65 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected Cincinnati-based P&G to earn 72 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales jumped 9 percent to $14.45 billion, including a 3 percent lift from foreign exchange. Analysts, on average, had forecast revenue of $14.15 billion.

Sales rose 7 percent excluding the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange, P&G said.

"We continue to see strong top-line growth across all of our businesses," Chairman and Chief Executive A.G. Lafley said in a statement. "The steps we've been taking to offset the impacts of higher material costs and the continued strength of our innovation pipeline give us confidence to raise the earnings outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year."

P&G and other consumer products companies have been trimming expenses and raising prices to help offset pressure from raw material costs.

P&G said it now expects to earn 60 cents to 62 cents per share in its current third quarter, which ends in March. It raised its full-year forecast by 3 cents, to a range of $2.61 to $2.64 per share.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting P&G to earn 60 cents in the quarter and $2.61 this year.

P&G said net sales in both the third quarter and full year should be up in the high-single digits. While foreign exchange is expected to add about 2 percent to sales growth, that gain should be partially offset by strong growth in developing markets, where prices are generally lower.

Shares of Procter & Gamble, a component of the Dow Jones industrial average (search), slipped 12 cents to $55.32 in Thursday trading, ahead of the company's announcement. The shares hit a 52-week high of $57.00 one week ago.