NEW YORK (AP) — Procter & Gamble Co., the maker of such iconic household products as Crest toothpaste, Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper, raised its annual sales outlook on Friday, after turning in better-than expected fiscal third-quarter earnings results as a series of price hikes boosted its performance.

The earnings results offer encouraging signs about the resiliency of the consumer ahead of reports next month from major retailers like Walmart and Target in an increasingly challenging economy. P&G executives told analysts during its earning call on Friday that the U.S. consumer is “holding up well” and its share of private label brands, which tend to be less expensive, is stable at 16%, a good indication that it’s not seeing shoppers materially trade down.

The Cincinnati-based retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profits of $3.4 billion, or $1.37 per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with $3.35 billion, or $1.33 per share, for the year-ago period.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.32 per share.

P&G increased prices by about 10% across its various brands in the latest quarter from a year ago, matching the previous quarter’s price hikes. In the latest quarter, the prices of fabric and home care went up 13% and grooming products rose 10%. Meanwhile, the number of products it sells globally fell 3% during the fiscal third quarter, but that was an improvement from the 6% drop in the previous quarter.

The world’s largest consumer products maker posted a 4% jump in revenue to $20.07 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $19.3 billion. A year ago, sales reached $19.4 billion.

The company said that it expects overall sales for the current year to increase roughly 1% compared with the prior year. It had previously expected sales to be anywhere from down 1% to unchanged. It also maintained its annual profit outlook.

P&G shares rose nearly 4% or $5.72 to $156.57 in morning trading on Friday.


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