Procter & Gamble’s shares reached a 52- week high last month, gaining as much as 4.4% after company executives said increased sales will push third quarter earnings above Wall Street estimates. P&G also announced a boost in its quarterly dividend to $.50 from $.46, and a 2-for-1 stock split.
Trading volume was more than double the daily average, at 7.7 million shares compared with an average of about 3 million.
“This continues the company record of increasing the dividend for 48 straight years,” said Douglas Christopher, an analyst with Crowell Weedon & Co. “Not many companies are able to do that.”
Led by its health, beauty and home-care lines, a P&G spokesperson said the company expects strong volume and sales growth to push third-quarter earnings above previous estimates.
“P&G’s strong results, reflecting balanced, consistent growth, have given the board the confidence to raise the dividend for the second time this fiscal year, and split the stock,” said A.G. Lafley, P&G’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“P&G is committed to sustaining growth and building shareholder value, year in and year out,” he added. “The company remains focused on what’s working: serving the consumer as boss, focusing on leading brands, countries and customers, building fast-growing businesses such as beauty and health care, keeping costs low and leveraging P&G’s core strengths in branding, innovation, scale and go-to-market capabilities.”