Clorox Q3 profit tops estimates, but sales miss

Wed May 1, 2013 9:33am EDT

(Reuters) - Clorox Co (CLX.N), the consumer products maker, reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Wednesday, boosted by cost cuts and price increases, but sales missed estimates.

Like peer Energizer Holdings Inc (ENR.N), Clorox managed to cut selling and administrative costs to offset soft sales.

Clorox, best known for its namesake bleach, managed to cut those expenses mainly by spending less on information technology systems in Latin America. It also had lower costs for employee incentive compensation.

Net earnings for the quarter ended March 31 were $134 million, or $1.00 a share, compared with $134 million, or $1.02 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $1.06 a share, while analysts, on average, expected $1.05, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Clorox, which also makes Brita water filters and Burt's Bees skin care products, said sales rose 0.7 percent to $1.41 billion, falling short of the average analyst estimate of $1.44 billion.

Shares fell 1.2 percent to $85.25 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in New York and Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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