Colgate-Palmolive profit slips, records charge related to Venezuela exchange rate

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) -0.8% premarket after Q1 earnings met estimates but were hurt by a one-time $174M charge ($0.19/share) related to the fall in value of the Venezuelan bolivar.

All operating divisions contributed to a 6.5% organic sales growth in the quarter, led by an 11% increase for Latin America and 7.5% for Asia; but net sales in Latin America, which accounts for ~27% of company sales, fell 5%.

Gross margin widened slightly to 58.4% from 58.3%, as higher raw and packaging material costs offset higher pricing and cost savings.

CL says it expects another year of strong organic sales growth and gross margin expansion for 2014, with EPS to grow 4%-5% on a dollar basis and at a double-digit rate on a currency neutral basis.

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