Church & Dwight's 3Q gets lift from detergent

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — Church & Dwight Co. said Monday that increasing demand for its products, including Arm & Hammer liquid detergent and Trojan condoms, helped lift its net income 18 percent in the third quarter.

The company, which makes a range of consumer products including kitty litter, toothbrushes, baking soda and pregnancy tests, boosted its outlook for the year, citing its strong quarterly performance. It also increased its per-share guidance for next year by a penny.

For the period ended Sept. 30, the company said it earned $93.9 million, or 66 cents per share. That's compared with $79.6 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $725.2 million, with a big boost from volume growth.

Analysts expected a profit of 59 cents per share on revenue of $720.2 million, according to FactSet.

Church & Dwight says sales for its U.S. consumer goods unit, its largest by revenue, rose nearly 5 percent to $530.4 million. The company said it had record quarterly market share for Arm & Hammer and XTRA liquid laundry detergent, as well as Trojan condoms.

International revenue rose 2 percent to $131.1 million.

Despite higher costs for raw materials, the company said its profitability increased, citing benefits from a price increase for cat litter, new products and in-house production of certain detergents.

Because of the stronger-than-expected third quarter, Church & Dwight now expects to earn $2.43 per share for the year, up from its previous guidance of $2.39 to $2.41 per share and topping analysts' expectation of $2.41 per share.

The outlook does not include any potential impact as a result of Superstorm Sandy.

For the current quarter, however, the company, which is based in Princeton, N.J., expects profit of 55 cents per share, short of analysts' prediction of 61 cents per share.

For 2013, the company now expects earnings of $2.74 to $2.79 per share, up from its previous guidance of $2.73 to $2.78 per share and bracketing analysts' forecast of $2.74 per share.