Big acquisition coming along nicely

Article Excerpt

THE PROCTER & GAMBLE CO. $55 (New York symbol PG; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; WSSF Rating: Above average) is the world’s leading maker of household and personal care products such as soap (Ivory), detergent (Tide), toothpaste (Crest), shampoo (Head & Shoulders) and snack foods (Pringles). Over 20 of its brands generate annual sales of at least $1 billion. In the past few years, Procter has used acquisitions to expand its market share and geographic reach. While that adds to its risk, the company has a good history of integrating new operations. Its biggest purchase so far was last October’s $51 billion all-stock acquisition of The Gillette Co., which makes razors, batteries (Duracell) and other consumer products. That expanded Procter’s shares outstanding by roughly a third. Procter has repurchased $15.8 billion of its stock since the merger; it aims to buy back $20 billion of stock in its current fiscal year. Thanks to Gillette, Procter’s revenue in its third fiscal quarter ended March 31,…

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