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Clorox 2nd-quarter net income falls

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Clorox Co.'s fiscal second-quarter net income fell nearly 7 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar and flat sales.

Net income fell short of expectations, and the company lowered its guidance to reflect more pressure from the stronger dollar.

Consumer product companies like Clorox have been trying to balance slow growth in developed markets like the U.S. with faster growth in emerging markets. It has been offsetting weak sales with cost cuts and price increases.

"Like many companies, we continue to face significant headwinds from foreign currency declines, sluggish category growth and increasing commodity costs," said CEO Don Knaus.

The Oakland, Calif., company makes products ranging from its namesake bleach to Hidden Valley salad dressing.

Net income for the three months ended Dec. 31, fell to $115 million, or 87 cents per share. That compares with net income of $123 million, or 93 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue was nearly flat at $1.33 billion. Excluding the effect of foreign currency, revenue rose 2.3 percent.

Analysts expected net income of 91 cents per share on revenue of $1.31 billion, according to FactSet.

Because of the stronger dollar, particularly the devaluation of the Argentine peso in January, the company now expects net income of $4.40 to $4.55 per share for the full year ending in June, down from a prior range of $4.45 to $4.60 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $4.53 per share.

Clorox now expects revenue to rise 1 percent to 2 percent from prior guidance of 2 percent and 3 percent.

Based on fiscal 2013 revenue of $5.62 billion, that would mean fiscal 2014 revenue would be between $5.68 billion and $5.73 billion. Analysts expected $5.73 billion.

Shares fell 11 cents to $86.25 during midday trading.