Clorox shares plunge on weaker-than-expected outlook

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Shares of Clorox plunged more than 11 percent after the cleaning products conglomerate revealed weaker-than-expected results, blaming falling demand and rising costs.    

Clorox’s business has stalled this year compared to the height of COVID-19 when consumers couldn’t buy enough of its disinfectants and hand wipes. Now retailers can’t give the stuff away fast enough.

Sales dropped 9 percent, to $1.8 billion, in the quarter ended June 30. Earnings tumbled 68 percent, to $97 million, or 78 cents a share, compared with $310 million, or $2.41 a share, a year ago, the company said.

It’s the company’s steepest overall sales drop since at least 2012, according to Bloomberg.

The company likewise warned that profits will come in well below analysts’ forecasts. Blaming the “volatility” of rising costs, Clorox said it will would earn $5.40 to $5.70 in fiscal 2022 compared with analysts’ expectations of $7.67.

“The largest factor impacting its sales performance in fiscal year 2022 [will] be consumer demand, which remains uncertain,” the company said.

The declines were due primarily to the deceleration of shipments from the peak levels during the pandemic, and also by the reintroduction of “value packs” as the supply chain improved, the company said. 

On a two-year basis Clorox sales grew by 13 percent.

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