WD-40 Profits Slip And Its Shares Slide


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SAN DIEGO (AP) — WD-40 Co. said Monday that its first-quarter earnings fell 25 per cent as sales shifted toward less-profitable products.The company also had higher advertising and promotion costs than a year ago, and spent money redesigning its North American supply chain.

The company said it expected margins to rebound as recent price increases pay off, helping offset higher commodity costs.

The company stood by its fiscal 2012 sales target of $353 million to $370 million and forecast earnings of $2.28 to $2.40 per share, in line with analysts’ prediction of $2.34 per share on revenue of $358.5 million.

WD-40, which makes the ubiquitous lubricant and other maintenance and cleaning products, said net income in the quarter ended Nov. 30 was $6.8 million, or 42 cents per share, compared with $9.1 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected 53 cents a share in the latest quarter, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue rose 5 per cent, to $84.9 million. Analysts expected $85.2 million.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 30 per cent to $14.2 million but remained much smaller than U.S. sales, which gained 4 per cent to $40.6 million, and Europe, where revenue dipped 2 per cent from a year earlier to $30.1 million.

The shares rose $1.19, or 3 per cent, to close at $41.08 before the results were released. They were unchanged in extended trading following the release of the earnings report.