Clorox reports substantial sales increase following cyber attack recovery
By Sabela Ojea
Clorox, a leading cleaning-product maker, announced a significant surge in sales for its fiscal second quarter as it rebounded from the impact of a cyber attack that resulted in product shortages. The company also revised its outlook for the year, indicating strong recovery and growth.
The net profit for the fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31 amounted to $93 million, or 75 cents a share, compared to $99 million, or 80 cents a share, for the same period in the previous year. Although there was a decrease in net profit, Clorox’s performance managed to surpass the expectations of analysts, with adjusted earnings per share coming in at $2.16, while analysts had forecasted earnings per share of $1.09.
The company witnessed a significant sales increase of 16%, reaching $1.99 billion, surpassing the analysts’ forecast of $1.80 billion. This remarkable sales growth was attributed to higher volumes sold across various product categories. Moreover, Clorox’s gross margin also saw an improvement, increasing to 43.5% from 38.4% in the prior quarter due to pricing and cost-saving initiatives.
Chief Executive Linda Rendle expressed the company’s success in rebuilding retailer inventories ahead of schedule, enabling Clorox to resume merchandising and restore distribution. This achievement has positioned the company on a positive trajectory for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Looking ahead, Clorox revised its guidance for the year ending in June, expecting sales to decline by low to single digits, a marked improvement from the prior forecast of sales being down mid-to-high single digits. Additionally, the company raised its full-year earnings per share outlook to $3.06 to $3.26 from the previous range of $2.10 to $2.60. Clorox also anticipates a substantial increase of 200 basis points in its full-year gross margin, signifying a significant financial metric improvement.
The positive outlook and strong performance of Clorox in the fiscal second quarter indicate a remarkable recovery following the challenges posed by the cyber attack. The company’s ability to not only recuperate from the product shortages but also surpass performance expectations underscores its resilience and strategic initiatives to drive growth despite adversities.
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