Colgate-Palmolive today forecast fiscal 2024 sales below estimates, as higher prices of its oral and personal care products continue to weigh on volumes.
The toothpaste maker expects annual sales to grow by between 1% and 4%. The midpoint of this range is below analysts' average estimates of a 3.55% growth.
Despite this forecast, net sales rose to $4.95 billion in Q4, above the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) estimate of $4.90 billion.
In 2023, Colgate logged sales growth of 8.5%.
For Colgate, fourth-quarter organic volumes were flat, broadly similar to the previous quarter, although improving from a 4% dip last year.
The New York-based company said volumes, which have been under pressure in the past few quarters, are expected to recover somewhat through the year.
However, the company sneaked past Wall Street expectations for fourth-quarter sales and profit, driven by strong demand coming out of Latin America and Europe and recovering volumes in North America.
On an adjusted basis, the company posted a profit of 87c per share, beating previous estimates of 85c per share.
Nik Modi, an analyst from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Capital Markets said the performance of the pet category was "increasingly concerning" amid consumer pressure and competition from specialty pet retailers.
Sales at the company's Hill's Pet Nutrition business – which made up a quarter of the company's sales in 2023 – were up 5%, compared to a 20% rise in the previous year.
Shares of the company were up 1% on premarket trading on Friday.