- Clorox may raise prices in response to elevated supply costs, CEO Linda Rendle told CNBC.
- Rendle said she expects higher costs to persist “over the mid-term” due to inflation.
- Clorox’s January-through-March earnings fell 126% from 2020 to 2021.
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“We do need to address the cost environment that we’re experiencing,” Rendle said. “We’re seeing costs across many inputs rise.”
Rendle added that transportation is also becoming more expensive. The Clorox CEO said she expects to see higher costs “over the mid-term” due to inflation.
“We are seeing an inflationary environment that we expect to persist well beyond a quarter,” she said.
But if Clorox does decide to raise prices, the company won’t necessarily do so across the board.
“We’re being very measured and taking that in a category-by-category approach,” Rendle said.
Rendle also suggested Clorox would look to cost cuts, including the elimination of short-term expenses spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and innovation to help the company respond to elevated costs.
Clorox is one of many companies that have warned that prices might rise as the economy reopens after the coronavirus pandemic. Items from bikes to cars to imported cheese are going to cost more this year because of snarled supply chains, backlogged ports, and the return of inflation.
On Friday, Clorox reported that its earnings during the first three months of the year fell 126% compared to the same period in 2020. The company lost $0.49 per share between January and March, down from a $1.89 per share gain in the first three months of 2020.
Part of the slide came from a $329 million write-down of assets in the company’s vitamins, minerals, and supplements business. The impairment charge cut Clorox’s per-share earnings by $2.11.
During her interview with CNBC, Rendle said she expects acquisitions Clorox have made in the vitamins, minerals, and supplements segment to boost Clorox’s revenue and profits in the long run, despite the disappointing short-term results.
“We’re confident that we can get these to a place where they’re growth and profit accretive for the company over time, ” Rendle said.
Despite Clorox’s earnings slide, the company’s stock price rose 2% on Friday to $183.