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Unilever (ULVR LN) is up over 3% in European trading this morning, after releasing full-year and Q4 results.  Underlying sales growth (excluding the impact of exchange rates, acquisitions and disposals) was 7.8% with strength in Personal Care (+11.5%, 4.0% price, 7.2% volume) and Home Care (+10.4%, 3.1% price, 7.0% volume).  Foods were a laggard at +1.3% underlying sales growth with price contributing 1.4%.



These results represent a sequential acceleration in underlying sales growth (+6.0% in Q2 and +6.1% in Q3) and represent strength on strength as the comparable result in Q4 2011 was a +6.6%.

 

We would like to highlight a couple of items from these results.

  1. Unilever is a transformed company, with the transformation beginning with the appointment of Paul Polman as CEO, formerly of Nestle
  2. Unilever is what PG should aspire to be in terms of growth and investment in brands
  3. Personal and Home Care results are favorable on the margin for PG
  4. Food results still struggle to find a balance between price and volume growth

It's been fun to watch the transformation of Unilever over the years from a sluggish, inexpensive staples name to a global growth company.  If anyone suggests that the jockey doesn't matter in a horse race, point them toward Unilever.



Kind regards,

 

Rob

 


Robert  Campagnino

Managing Director

HEDGEYE RISK MANAGEMENT, LLC

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