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Manufacturing company $LXU said its new 375,000 ton ammonia plant at its El Dorado, Arkansas facility is operational and ammonia production is now underway. The company expects to sell ammonia into the pipeline by May-end. The plant is expected to reach full capacity by the beginning of 3Q16. $LXU expects the total cost to be approx. $830MM.
$PG plans to continue to keep bottom-line growing and to be growing margins through productivity which will both provide fuel for reinvestment and for margin improvement. $PG really doesn't view pricing and promotion as high in terms of its options to grow business. $PG is going to be continuing to invest in business to drive margins.
$PG said it will continue its strong track record of cash returned to shareholders. $PG expects to pay nearly $7.5Bil in dividends this year. $PG is lifting FY18 share repurchase outlook from $4-7Bil to $6-8Bil, reflecting strong operating cash flow, continued working capital progress, and the cash benefit enabled by the Tax Act.
$PG had already reduced number of agencies nearly 60% from 6,000 to 2,500, saved $750MM in agency and production costs, and improved cash flow by over $400MM additional through 75 day payment terms. In next phase, $PG expects to save another $400MM reducing number of agencies by another 50% and implementing new advertising and media agency models.
$PG's core gross margin for 2Q18 declined 80 basis points versus year ago. 150 basis points of productivity savings were more than offset by headwinds of 90 points from higher commodity costs, 70 basis points of mixed impact, 50 basis points from pricing primarily Gillette, and 40 basis points of reinvestment in product and packaging innovation.
$PG said commodity prices have continued to move higher as the year has progressed approaching a $350MM after-tax impact versus year ago for FY18. $PG had expected to see higher pulp costs going into the year. These costs have continued to increase beyond initial forecast ranges with strong demand and some recent supply disruption.
$PG lifted FY18 core EPS growth outlook to 5-8% from 5-7% versus FY17 core EPS of $3.92. This is to reflect the potential benefit from the Tax Act. GAAP EPS are expected to decrease 30-32% versus FY17 GAAP EPS of $5.59, which included the significant benefit from the Beauty Brands transaction that was completed in October 2016.
$PG maintained its organic sales growth estimate of 2-3% for FY18. The company estimates all-in sales growth of about 3% for FY18, which includes a neutral to half-a-percentage-point benefit to sales growth from the combined impacts of acquisitions and divestitures and foreign exchange.
$PG's net sales for 2Q18 rose 3% year-over-year. This includes a 1% positive impact from foreign exchange. Organic sales and volume both increased 2%. A 1% positive mix impact from the disproportionate growth of higher priced categories, Skin & Personal Care and Personal Health Care, was offset by a negative pricing impact of 1%.
$PG reported a 68% drop in 2Q18 earnings due to the Beauty Brands divestiture gain in the base period and the latest quarter net income tax charge related to the recent U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Net income fell to $2.5Bil or $0.93 per share from $7.88Bil or $2.88 per share last year. Net sales rose 3% to $17.4Bil. Core EPS increased 10% to $1.19.
$PX signed a long-term contract with an electronics manufacturer in Shanghai, China. $PX will build, own and operate multiple air separation plants that will supply high-purity nitrogen & oxygen to EverDisplay Optronics (EDO), the first mass producer of 4.5-generation AMOLED displays in China. EDO will invest more than US$4.1Bil in its new project.
$PX expanded its long-term hydrogen supply agreement with Motiva Enterprises LLC. $PX will increase the amount of hydrogen it supplies to Motiva's about 600,000 barrel per day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. This agreement secures the additional hydrogen required to support that expansion, as well as the ongoing needs of the refinery.
$CF announced early tender results of the tender offer by its subsidiary CF Industries Inc. (CFI) to buy for cash CFI's 7.125% senior notes due 2020 and the increase by CFI in maximum aggregate of notes subject to tender offer from $200MM to $299.98MM. The aggregate of the notes that were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn is $565.92MM.
Global specialty chemicals industry leader $ALB said it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its polyolefin catalysts and components business to $GRA in cash for approx. $416MM. The organometallics and curatives portions of the Performance Catalysts Solutions business will remain with $ALB. The deal is expected to close during 1Q18.
$LII is reiterating its guidance for 2017 revenue growth of 5-7%, with a 0.5% benefit from FX. GAAP EPS from continuing operations is expected to be $7.67-7.97 while adjusted EPS from continuing operations is expected to be $7.75-8.05. CapEx is expected to be approx. $100MM.