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Clorox 1st-quarter net income rises 2 percent

The Associated Press

NEWS: The Clorox Co.'s fiscal first quarter net income rose 2 percent, beating Wall Street expectations, on higher sales for its Burt's Bees cosmetics, charcoal and laundry products as well as cleaning products for medical professionals.

But the consumer products company also lowered its full-year guidance Thursday, citing weaker sales and higher costs.

DETAILS: "We continue to face headwinds, including foreign currency declines and increasing commodity costs," said CEO Don Knauss in a statement. "We're also facing heightened competitive activity, which we expect to continue through the fiscal year."

Increased competition, for example, drove shipments of its Clorox disinfecting wipes lower.

But Clorox reported growth elsewhere. Burt's Bees delivered "double-digit volume growth" thanks to new lip products and higher demand for the brand's face products. Shipments of charcoal were strong during the summer, it said.

Clorox, based in Oakland, Calif., makes products ranging from its namesake bleach to Hidden Valley salad dressing.

NUMBERS: Net income rose to $136 million, or $1.03 per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30. That compares to $133 million, or $1.01 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 2 percent to $1.36 billion from $1.34 billion a year ago.

Analysts expected earnings of $1 per share and revenue of $1.35 billion, according to FactSet.

FUTURE: For the fiscal full year, which ends June 2014, Clorox now expects earnings between $4.45 per share and $4.60 per share. That's down from its previous forecast between $4.55 per share and $4.70 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $4.57 per share.

It now expects revenue to rise between 2 percent and 3 percent. It previously expected revenue to rise 2 percent to 4 percent.

Based on fiscal 2013 revenue of $5.62 billion, that would mean fiscal 2014 revenue would be between $5.73 billion and $5.79 billion. Analysts expected $5.75 billion.

STOCK: Up 40 cents to $90.54 in midday trading Thursday.