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Stimulus checks send people out to buy Rubbermaid and Mr. Coffee products: Newell Brands CEO

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
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Newell Brands (NWL) CEO Ravi Saligram — hired to operationally overhaul the company in October 2019 — finds himself in a sweet-spot right now. 

Not only is Newell Brands continuing to improve its execution under Saligram and an entirely new C-suite, but the arrival of stimulus checks recently is sending consumers out aggressively to buy fresh kitchen gadgets. For Newell Brands, owner of Rubbermaid and Mr. Coffee, that's a recipe for potentially big sales and profit gains for the balance of 2021. 

"The stimulus checks hit in March and no doubt we saw a bump [in sales]," Saligram said on Yahoo Finance Live. "Part of the reason in the improvement of course in our guidance was those checks. The savings rate has improved with consumers. And then of course the stimulus and the benefits all added to more discretionary spending. Having said that, we have been in a turnaround. We have been modernizing all of our brands and innovation is hitting the mark."

Newell shares rose nearly 3% in Monday's session. Shares are up about 30% year-to-date, outperforming the S&P 500's 11.7% gain. 

Here is how Newell Brands performed in the first quarter compared to Wall Street estimates.

  • Net Sales: $2.3 billion, up 21.3% from a year ago versus estimates for $2.06 billion

  • Adjusted EPS: $0.30 vs. $0.14

The company saw first quarter sales rise by double-digit percentages in four of its five business segments. Gains were paced by a 38.9% sales pop at the Home Appliances segment as consumers continued to invest in their kitchens during the pandemic. Operating profit margins improved sharply year-over-year in four of five segments —the only decline came in the Commercial Solutions segment. 

Newell lifted its full-year sales and earnings outlooks, too. 

For 2021, the company is looking for sales of $9.9 billion to $10.1 billion compared to $9.5 billion to $9.7 billion previously. Full-year earnings are now projected at $1.63 to $1.73 a share, up from $1.55 to $1.65 a share previously. 

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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