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Clorox on Q2 Figures

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) shares hiked Friday as the cleaning products company beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for its fiscal second quarter. The company also hiked its earnings and sales forecast.

Net sales increased 1% to $1.72 billion compared to an 8% net sales decrease in the year-ago quarter. The net sales increase was driven largely by favorable price mix, partially offset by lower volume. Organic sales were up 4%. The three-year average growth rate for net sales was 7%.

Gross margin increased 320 basis points to 36.2% from 33% in the year-ago quarter, due to the benefits of pricing and cost savings initiatives, partially offset by unfavorable commodity costs and mix, and higher manufacturing and logistics costs.

Diluted net earnings per share (diluted EPS) increased 43% to 80 cents from 56 cents in the year-ago quarter. This includes 16 cents related to investments in the company's long-term strategic digital capabilities and productivity enhancements as well as two cents related to implementation of its streamlined operating model.

Adjusted EPS increased 48% to 98 cents from 66 cents in the year-ago quarter, due in part to the net benefits of pricing and cost savings, partially offset by lower volume, unfavorable commodity costs, and higher selling and administrative expenses.

Year-to-date net cash provided by operations was $387 million compared to $222 million in the year-ago period, representing a 74% increase.

CLX shares popped $8.86, or 6.3%, to $149.86.