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Clorox 1st-Quarter Earnings Drop 19%

November 02, 2001|Times Wire Services

Clorox Co. said fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 19% because of higher advertising spending, and the company will reduce employment further to lower costs. Clorox raised its annual profit forecast.

Net income for Clorox, maker of Glad bags and Tilex cleaners, fell to $79 million, or 33 cents a share, from $98 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier. Excluding some costs, profit in the period ended Sept. 30 topped analyst estimates. Sales rose 2.9% to $991 million, the first increase in a year, also surpassing forecasts.

Chief Executive Craig Sullivan is closing plants and firing workers, using the savings to lower prices and spend more on marketing and new products. Higher sales for Glad, Kingsford charcoal and Armor All products led Clorox to raise its first-quarter forecast last month, after two cuts in estimates since December.

"When your top line slows, you have to worry more about your cost structure," said Franklin Morton, research director for Ariel Capital Management, which owns 1.3 million shares.

Shares of Oakland-based Clorox rose $1.78, or 5%, to $37.48 on the New York Stock Exchange. They've fallen 17% in the last year.

At a Glance:

Other California company earnings, excluding one-time gains or charges unless noted, include:

* American Vanguard Corp., a Newport Beach specialty and agricultural products company, said net income for the third quarter grew 50% to $1.5 million, or 51cents a share, from $1 million, or 34cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 15% to $24.7 million.

* Del Monte Foods Co. reported a loss of $800,000, or 1 cent a share, in its first quarter, compared with net income of $6.4 million, or 12cents, a year ago. Revenue for the San Francisco-based producer of canned fruits and vegetables rose to $272.3 million from $263 million.

* EUniverse, a Los Angeles online entertainment and marketing firm, reported an $851,766 profit in its fiscal second quarter, compared with a loss of $17.1 million in the same year-earlier period. The profit amounted to 4 cents a share, versus a 96-cents-a-share loss a year earlier. Revenue surged 63%, to $6.7 million from $4.1 million.

* Guess Inc. reported third-quarter net income of $3.9 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with net income of $8.4 million, or 19cents a share, a year ago. Revenue at the Los Angeles clothing maker declined 21.6% to $162.3million.

* Homestore.com reported a third-quarter net loss of $6.9 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $19.8 million, or 19cents a share, a year ago. The Westlake Village supplier of technology to the real estate industry reported revenue of $116.1 million, up 34%.

* ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. posted a third-quarter loss Thursday, as royalties slumped for the Costa Mesa drug maker's biggest product, the Rebetron ribavirin treatment for hepatitis C. ICN lost $11.7 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with net income of $36.6million, or 45 cents, a year earlier. Revenue fell 7.8% to $191.1 million from $207.3 million.

* Radiance Medical Systems Inc., an Irvine developer of radiation delivery catheters, reported its third-quarter net loss widened to $7.7 million, or 59 cents a share, from $1.9 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue declined 5% to $1.8 million.

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