P&G forecasts profit below Street, shares drop

CINCINNATI, Wed Apr 24, 2013 — Procter & Gamble Co. on Wednesday forecast current-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations and year-ago levels, sending shares 3.5 percent lower in early trading.

The world’s largest household products maker also posted fiscal third-quarter profit that topped estimates despite sales that were weaker than both the company and analysts had anticipated.

P&G has been trying to reinvigorate itself under Chief Executive Bob McDonald. The company has held or gained market share in more of its businesses in the latest quarters after stiffer competition from rivals like Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive Co.

While products such as Tide Pods have boosted U.S. sales, P&G still needs to figure out the formula for getting products such as Pantene shampoo to stand out among competitors, it said. P&G plans to promote several brands during the current quarter, including Olay skin care products.

Net sales decreased in the hair care and skin care business in the latest quarter.

“We’ve got a little bit more work to do” in skin care, McDonald told reporters.

In February 2012, McDonald unveiled a $10 billion restructuring plan including thousands of job cuts after P&G acknowledged it was not nimble enough, especially in emerging markets.

Shares of P&G fell to $79.65 in premarket trading after closing at an all-time high of $82.54 on Tuesday