Clorox Co. shares CLX, +1.36% soared 3.5% in premarket trade Friday, after the maker of cleaning and household products blew past earnings estimates for its latest quarter, boosted by demand for disinfecting and other cleaning products during the coronavirus pandemic. The company posted net income of $241 million, or $1.89 a share, for its fiscal third quarter to March 31, up from $187 million, or $1.44 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $1.783 billion from $1.551 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.67 and sales of $1.707 billion. “Beyond the extraordinary growth in our disinfecting products, we saw broad-based growth across all four segments as our portfolio is uniquely positioned to serve consumers in this unprecedented time,” Chief Executive Benno Dorer said in a statement. Sales of cleaning and laundry products rose 32%, while pretax earnings rose 71%, said Dorer. Sales at the household segment, including bags and wraps and cat litter, rose 2% while pretax earnings rose 15%. Sales at the lifestyle segment, including water filtration and food, rose 10%, while pretax earnings rose 29%. And international sales rose 11%, while pretax earnings rose 50%. The company is expecting its fiscal 2020 sales to grow 4% to 6% and for EPS to range from $6.70 to $6.90. Shares have gained 21% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.92% has fallen 10%.
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