updated 12/9/2004 9:28:15 AM ET 2004-12-09T14:28:15

Procter & Gamble Co. on Wednesday increased its sales forecast for the second-quarter and full-year periods, citing better-than-expected shipment volume and beneficial foreign-exchange translation.

The maker of personal care products and food and beverages now expects sales for the quarter to increase 6 percent to 8 percent, up from an earlier estimate of 5 to 7 percent growth. The forecast includes a 1 to 2 percent benefit from foreign exchange rates. Quarterly shipments are projected to increase 6 percent to 7 percent — toward the top end of the previous guidance. The company said it is comfortable with its previous earnings guidance of 71 cents to 72 cents per share for the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, the company posted earnings per share of 65 cents on revenue of $13.22 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call predict earnings per share of 72 cents on revenue of $14.09 billion.

For the fiscal year, the company now expects total sales to increase 6 to 9 percent, above the prior guidance of 5 percent to 6 percent growth. Shipment volume is projected to increase 6 to 8 percent over last year — slightly higher than previous expectations. The company said it is "comfortable with the upper-half of analysts' range of estimates, which equates to $2.59 to $2.61 per share."

Last year the company posted earnings per share of $2.32 on revenue of $51.41 billion.

Procter & Gamble shares rose 99 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $55.03 on the New York Stock Exchange, then fell 18 cents to $54.85 in aftermarket trading.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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