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P&G Nearing All-Time High After Earnings Beat

Ian Wyatt

Dividend stalwarts like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) don’t usually go on big runs. But that’s what the consumer-products giant is doing today after reporting strong fiscal second-quarter earnings.

The company’s October-through-December results were double last year’s earnings, pushing P&G shares up 3.7% in Friday trading. At exactly $73 a share, P&G is just 42 cents shy of its all-time high, set in October 2007.

The stock is now up 12.4% in the last year – a huge move for a dividend payer that has basically lived in the $60 to $65 range the past three years.

What’s more encouraging for Procter & Gamble is the company’s 2013 outlook. P&G raised its full-year earnings-per-share forecast to a range of $3.97-$4.07 from their previous expectation of $3.80-$4.00 a share.

Its quarterly profits of $1.39 per share was well ahead of the 57 a share the company booked in the December quarter a year ago.

Procter & Gamble’s big move today helped push the S&P 500 above the 1,500 level for the first time since mid-2007. Overall, it was another steady week of gains for stocks, with markets rising all four trading days in the holiday-shortened week.

*Full disclosure: I personally own shares of Procter & Gamble.