Saturday, November 9, 2013

P&G reports; Lafley doesn't

The CEO skips the quarterly earnings call. Does it make a difference?

There was only one thing missing from Procter & Gamble's (PG) first-quarter fiscal 2014 earnings call on Friday morning: The CEO and chairman of the company, A.G. Lafley. That was no surprise, as P&G had announced, earlier in the week, that Lafley would no longer be participating in quarterly earnings calls as the company tries to get off the hamster wheel of meeting or missing quarterly expectations. Still, it was unusual to hear only the CFO, Jon Moeller, during the Q&A: Analysts and journalists alike typically use this period as a way in which to evaluate -- fairly or not -- the energy and morale of the company through the proxy of its leader's voice.

It was hard to do that with Moeller, although, as a longtime pro and steady hand, he did his job of providing the numbers quite well. P&G -- which also has stopped providing quarterly guidance, following the lead of competitor Unilever (UL), which stopped years ago -- reaffirmed its full-year plans and posted organic sales up 4% and net sales up 2%, to $21.2 billion, roughly in line with expectations. Read more.

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