Procter & Gamble's (PG) fourth quarter earnings of $0.82 were flat with the prior-year levels, as benefits from pricing and cost savings from restructuring activities were offset by a top-line shortfall and rising commodity costs. Revenues declined 1% largely due to foreign exchange headwinds.
Further, P&G is witnessing sluggish growth in the developed nations, principally in North America and Western Europe, due to weak economic conditions and market share declines. Moreover, rising commodity costs are constantly hurting the company's margins.
Other short-term headwinds include business disruptions in Venezuela, import restrictions in Argentina and negative impact of foreign exchange. We thus have an Underperform rating, as most of these issues are expected to persist and pressure earnings in the near term.
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