Household Products

Clorox lifts forecast after best sales jump in over 20 years

Key Points
  • Clorox raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts.
  • The bleach maker continues to benefit from a sustained boom in demand for its disinfectants and other cleaning products due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Clorox said it now expects its full-year sales to rise in the range of 5% to 9%, compared with a prior forecast of a flat to low single-digit growth.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Clorox reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in more than two decades on Monday and raised its full-year revenue forecast as coronavirus-driven hygiene needs escalated demand for everything from disinfectants to water filters.

Americans are using more of its Glad trash bags and installing water filtration devices to keep their homes clean during the health crisis. They are also grilling often as they eat less outside, helping Clorox double its sales of charcoal.

"Clorox just reported its best quarter since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is saying a lot given how strong demand has been for its products throughout," Barclays analysts wrote in a note.

Clorox has been running factories round the clock, using more third-party suppliers and even shipping products through air to keep up with consumer demand, but still falling short. Grocery shelves will not be fully stocked with its disinfecting wipes until next year, the company has warned.

Peers Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble have also said they were struggling to meet capacities for disinfectants and toilet paper. However, they too raised their annual sales expectations. Clorox said it now expects its full-year sales to rise in the range of 5% to 9% and earnings per share to grow between 5% and 8%, both forecasts above its prior expectations.

The company's shares, up 36% this year, were 3% higher in pre-market trading.

For the first quarter ended Sept. 30, sales grew in eight of Clorox's 10 business units, with the health and wellness and household care divisions reporting more than 20% growth. Net sales rose 27%, the biggest quarterly jump since 1998, to $1.92 billion and handily beat expectations of $1.76 billion. Net income more than doubled to $415 million, or $3.22 per share, also ahead of estimates.