Procter & Gamble tipped for strong results

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Stock market Goldman sachs Gillette Procter & gamble

P&G just seems to be going from strength to strength. An
announcement by leading financial advisors Goldman & Sachs that
it was adding the company to its 'buy' list of preferred stocks has
led to a jump in share prices ahead of second quarter results.

The company, which, since its $57bn merger with Gillette at the end of 2005, has now become the world's largest consumer goods business, is expected to further increase both its sales and profits, which have consistently topped double figures during 2006.

Shares on the New York Stock Exchange were at a 52-week high in early morning trading, topping $65.22, up 0.53 cents on the close yesterday when they were up 76 cents. The 52-week low for shares has been $52.75.

Goldman Sachs analysts said that they had been impressed by P&G's 'Go-To-Market' plan, a restructuring that has helped to drive the continued growth of the company and give it a key competitive advantage.

Its major rival, Anglo-Dutch player Unilever, has experienced quite a reversal in fortunes, losing market share and its number one position to the Cincinnati-based player.

Procter & Gamble has particularly made in-roads into the personal care market. More specifically its merger with Gillette has helped it to increase its footprint in the growing men's grooming market.

The company announced sales of $68.22 billion in 2006, up from $56.74bn in 2005 - 42 per cent of this figure was attributed to personal care products and a further 9 per cent was attributed to Gillette sales.

Goldman Sachs analysts believe that the company's forecast to maintain double-digit profit growth in the long-term future are conservative, stating that it should be able to attain growth at 14 -16 per cent.

The company is due to announce its second quarter results on January 30.

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