updated 9/20/2004 9:00:15 AM ET 2004-09-20T13:00:15

Consumer products giant Colgate-Palmolive Co. warned Monday that its second-half results would be lower than expected because of increased marketing spending and higher packaging and raw material costs.

The company said it now expects third and fourth-quarter earnings between 57 cents to 59 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had predicted the company would earn 67 cents in the third quarter and 68 cents in the fourth quarter. In 2003, Colgate-Palmolive earned 63 cents per share in the third quarter and 65 cents in the fourth quarter.

"Looking at the third quarter, while we only have results for the first two months, worldwide volume for the quarter should be up over 7 percent, with dollar sales up about the same," said chairman and chief executive Reuben Mark in a statement. "Operating profit in North America and Europe should be up. Operating profit in our other international divisions and at Hill's (pet food) is expected to be level with the prior year, resulting in a slight increase in worldwide operating profit."

Shares of Colgate-Palmolive fell $4.20, or 7.7 percent, to $50.13 before the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company set a 52-week low of $48.56 in December.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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