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Demand For Disinfectant Propels Clorox’s Quarter Revenues To Highest In A Decade

Demand For Disinfectant Propels Clorox’s Quarter Revenues To Highest In A Decade
The increase in demand for bleach and other disinfectants during the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaging across the world has propelled the sale revenues of Clorox for its third first quarter to its highest in a decade. This prompted the company to raise its forecast for the entire year on Friday.  
There has been a sudden increase in demand for all products that can help people to avoid catching the virus which include everything from cleaning liquids and soaps to other hygiene products. This has caused a sudden and steep rise in their demands.
So far this year, there has been an increase of more than 21 per cent in the shares of Clorox, compared to a drop of 9.8 per cent for the wider S&P 500 index, as the company has been trying to meet the increased demand with its factories operating for 24 hours a day.
The company had increased production of its germicidal bleach by six folds compared to its historical averages, it said in March.
During the quarter, there was a 32 per cent year on year rise in the sale revenues for the cleaning products which includes its namesake bleach products as well as Formula 409 and Pine-Sol. This division of the company accounts for almost 38 per cent of total sales of the company. 
The company is in a good position for the future as well, Clorox said because of the range of kits staple goods and the rising importance being given by customers to disinfectant products even after the end of the current episode of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Clorox also manufactures Glad trash bags, Burt's Bees skincare products and Kingsford charcoal.
“We're optimistic about our ability to continue to perform well even in what's expected to be a challenging economic environment,” said the company’s Chief Executive Benno Dorer.
In the third quarter ended March 31, there was a 15 per cent rise in the company’s net sales which came in at $1.78 billion, which, according to Refinitiv data, was the largest quarterly increase in sale revenue for the company since June 2010.
During the latest ended quarter, the net earnings of the company also spiked to $241 million, or $1.89 per share compared to net income of $187 million, or $1.44 per share, in the same period a year earlier. According to IBES data from Refinitiv, analysts had expected $1.67 per share.
Record growth in sale was also reported by Clorox’s rival Reckitt Benckiser, that owns rival cleaning brand Lysol, driven by a strong demand for disinfectants.
After the United States President Donald Trump suggested that researchers should try using disinfectants to cure patients of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the companies Clorox and Reckitt last week, in an unusual move, requested customers not to inject or ingest their products.
The full year forecast made by the company was a rise in sale revenues of between 4 per cent and 6 per cent. The company had previously forecast a growth figure in the low single-digit of a maximum of 1 per cent.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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