According to Wall Street Cheat Sheet, “Our second quarter results were at the high end of our expectations on the top-line and well ahead of forecast on operating profit, earnings per share and cash flow,” said Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Bob McDonald. “Global market share trends improved as we continued to implement our growth strategy and made very good progress against our productivity and cost savings goals. Our strong first half results have enabled us to raise our sales, earnings and share repurchase outlook for the fiscal year, while we strengthen investments in our innovation and marketing programs.”
- Organic sales increased three percent for the quarter, at the top end of the guidance range.
- Organic sales growth was broad-based, with all business segments increasing by two percent or more versus the prior year.
- Core net earnings per share increased by 12 percent to $1.22.
- Core gross margin increased 110 basis points due to the impact of higher pricing and manufacturing cost savings, partially offset by unfavorable geographic and product mix. Reported gross margin, including non-core restructuring charges, increased 80 basis points.
- Core and reported selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) as a percentage of net sales was unchanged, as enrollment reductions and productivity savings were offset by higher pension and employee benefit costs. Non-core charges in SG&A were in line with the prior year level.
- Core operating profit increased seven percent. Reported operating profit, including non-core charges, increased 68 percent.
- Operating cash flow was $3.8 billion for the quarter. The Company repurchased $1.4 billion of shares during the quarter and returned $1.6 billion of cash to shareholders as dividends.