August 6, 2018 / 3:36 PM / in 10 days

Newell Brands misses sales estimates as Babies "R" Us bankruptcy weighs

(Reuters) - Newell Brands Inc (NWL.N) reported quarterly sales below Wall Street estimates on Monday hurt by cutbacks in inventory by retailers for its writing products and the bankruptcy of toddler-focused Babies “R” Us chain.

Shares of Hoboken New-Jersey-based Newell were down as much as 13.4 pct at $23.01 in morning trade, its worst day in nearly seven months.

The company’s Learning & Development division, which makes Graco car seats and Baby Jogger strollers, sold a chunk of its goods at retailer Babies “R” Us, but saw a 15 percent drop as the last of the store closed in the U.S.

“Newell’s second-quarter, which was supposed to mark the nadir on core sales as the company worked through negative implications of the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy, came in worse than expected,” Jefferies analyst Kevin Grundy said.

Core sales growth, which includes the impact of discontinued operations for businesses divested in 2018, fell 8 percent to $3.73 billion, missing analysts estimate of $3.83 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“Another weak quarter on a comparable basis as organic sales and operating income fall short of consensus estimates,” Grundy said.

Newell, a U.S. consumer products maker, has been selling assets as part of its plans to raise $10 billion after it ended a proxy fight with activist investors Carl Icahn and Starboard Value LP.

The company earlier this year sold its plastics packaging unit Waddington Group and Rawlings Sporting Goods.

As a result, Newell now sees full-year net sales between $8.70 billion and $9.00 billion, down from its previous forecast of $14.40 billion to $14.80 billion. It cut its adjusted profit to between $2.45 and $2.65 per share, from $2.65 to $2.85 per share.

“While we expect the retail landscape to remain difficult, the second half impact will be less severe than the first,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Polk said on a call with analysts.

Newell said its latest guidance includes the $100 million impact due to the U.S. tariffs on China-sourced goods and the retaliatory tariffs by the EU and Canada, with the greatest exposure on baby products, appliances and food.

Polk said if the China tariffs are raised to 25 percent, the company will hike prices.

For the reported quarter, net sales declined 13 percent to $2.20 billion as a result of the divestiture.

Excluding items, Newell earned 82 cents per share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 77 cents.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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