* P&G shares fell 37 pct in Thursday’s NYSE plunge
* P&G executive rings NYSE closing bell on Friday
* P&G shares close down 0.72 percent on Friday
By Jessica Wohl
CHICAGO, May 7 (Reuters) - A Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) executive smiled as a group representing the company rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, a day after P&G’s shares temporarily fell 37 percent in a tumultuous trading session.
Shares of P&G, viewed as a safe haven because of the household staples the company makes, fell to $39.37 from $62, as the stock market dropped nearly 1,000 points on Thursday for reasons still unknown.
As the maker of Pampers diapers and Tide laundry detergent tried to find out why its shares were falling, some investors snapped up P&G stock.
“The company is so solid that a lot of folks, when they saw this, tried to figure out how quickly they could get to their broker to buy,” said Ed Tazzia, global chairman of the P&G Alumni Network board of directors.
Tazzia, now chief executive of Sycamore and Co, a management consulting and executive search firm, said he spoke with other former P&G employees about Thursday’s stock action.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s questioning the health or the viability of the business because of whatever happened,” said Tazzia, who owns P&G shares.
Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager of the Federated Clover Value Fund, said he was focused on other parts of his portfolio on Thursday.
“When I‘m dealing with a 60-stock portfolio, I have much bigger problem children on my hands than P&G. So when the screen is flickering in front of me I tend to be looking at other stocks,” Kaufler said. “It was a trading issue, it had nothing to do with the company’s fundamentals, and that’s what I care most about.”
P&G shares recovered most of their losses on Thursday to close at $60.75. They ended Friday’s session down 44 cents, or 0.72 percent, at $60.31.
The shares outperformed the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI, of which P&G is a component. The Dow ended the day down 1.33 percent. [ID:nN07255306]
As previously planned, P&G’s Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard was at the NYSE to ring Friday’s closing bell as the company promotes its “Thank You Mom” campaign two days before the Mother’s Day holiday.
Pritchard was with his mother, Carolyn, and recent Team USA Olympic medalists Seth Wescott, J.R. Celski, Julie Chu and Paralympian Caitie Sarubbi, and their mothers. NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer and his mother were also there.
Asked what he thought of P&G ringing the bell, Tazzia said it was “either incredible serendipity or Paul Fox and his boss are really good at their external affairs role,” referring to P&G’s director of corporate communications. (Reporting by Jessica Wohl)