MIDEAST STOCKS - Factors to watch - Mar 26
DUBAI, March 26 Here are some factors that may affect Middle East stock markets on Sunday. Reuters has not verified the press reports and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL.N) on Thursday posted lower quarterly profit as the impact of the stronger dollar pressured its international business, and the toothpaste maker lowered its 2013 earnings forecast as Latin American sales slipped.
It said sales rose 1.9 percent to $4.35 billion, below the $4.39 billion that analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Unfavorable foreign exchange lowered sales by 3 percentage points. Pricing rose 1 percent.
Organic sales, which strip out the effects of foreign exchange fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, rose 5.5 percent, with the biggest gains in North America, Asia and Africa, and a jump in business at its Hill's pet food business.
But Colgate continued to be hurt by the impact of February's devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar. That contributed to a 1.5 percent sales decrease in Latin America, its biggest market by far, and a lower operating profit there.
For U.S. companies that do business in the country, the devaluation meant their earnings in bolivars were worth less when converted back to dollars.
Colgate now expects earnings per share to rise 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent for the year, down 1 percentage point from its previous forecast range because of the bolivar devaluation and recent volatility in other exchanges.
Sales in Europe and the South Pacific fell 3 percent, largely because of lower pricing.
The consumer products maker said profit fell to $561 million, or 60 per share, from $627 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Colgate earned 70 cents per share, in line with analysts' estimates.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York and Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
March 25 Uber Technologies Inc suspended its pilot program for driverless cars on Saturday after a vehicle equipped with the nascent technology crashed on an Arizona roadway, the ride-hailing company and local police said.