Procter & Gamble Remains the Dow's Worst Performing Stock

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) added about 1.2% to its share price last week, but that was not enough to shake off the company’s ranking as the worst-performing Dow Jones industrial average stock of this year. So far in 2018, the shares have lost 19.1%. This is P&G’s sixth consecutive week as the Dow’s worst stock for the year.

The second-worst Dow stock so far this year is Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), with shares down 16.5%. That is followed by General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), down 16.2%, 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), down 15.4%, and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), down 13.1%. Losers outnumber winners for the year to date on the Dow by a score of 19 to 11.

The Dow added just 38 points over the course of the past week to close at 24,753.09, essentially flat for the week. For the year to date, the consumer staples sector has dropped about 13.1%, worst among the 10 market sectors.

The company now discloses the ingredients in most of its more than 3,500 brands on the SmartLabel website. P&G is trying to dispel the belief that its products contain all sorts of nasty chemicals that can cause harm or are unsafe. This is more difficult than it may sound, according to the company’s chief R&D and innovation officer, Kathy Fish, who told The Wall Street Journal:

Fragrances in general have captured both consumers’ and advocacy groups’ attentions, largely because the ingredients in fragrances aren’t disclosed. And in reality, some consumers have sensitivities to fragrances. We plan to disclose fragrance ingredients by the end of next year. It is a work in progress.

Within each fragrance, this means nearly 100 ingredients could be disclosed.

P&G also priced its previously disclosed tender offer for 11 different debt securities. The company will pay $1.404 billion to purchase 100% of tendered amounts of nine securities. P&G will not purchase any of the other two.

Procter & Gamble stock closed at $74.31 on Friday, up about 0.7% for the day and in a 52-week range of $70.73 to $94.67. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $81.55, down 24 cents from the prior week, and the forward price-earnings ratio is 16.62.

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