- Unilever inked 25.7 billion euros in sales, down 1.6% from a year ago. However, total net income rose 10%
- The demand for hygiene products surged amid the pandemic, as expected
- Unilever stock price gains 8%, hits a new 4-month high at 50.90 EUR
Shares of Unilever (AMS: UNA) surged 8% today to hit a new 4-week high after reporting a rise in net earnings for the first half of the year.
Fundamental analysis: Hygiene products in demand
Unilever reported its underlying sales slipped 0.3% for a quarter ending June 30, easily beating the analysts’ forecast of a 4.3% drop. In the United States, Unilever’s biggest market, the Anglo-Dutch saw its sales rise 7.3% with volume up 20% for the reported period.
Looking at the first half of the year, Unilever inked 25.7 billion euros in sales, down 1.6% compared to a year ago. However, total net income rose 10% to 3.5 billion euros.
“Performance during the first half has shown the true strength of Unilever. We have demonstrated the resilience of the business – in our portfolio, in a continued step-up in operational excellence, and in our financial position – and we have unlocked new levels of agility in responding to unprecedented fluctuations in demand,” said Alan Jope, CEO of the company.
Unilever also noticed a surge in demand for its food products, with the firm owning many popular brands, such as Breyers, Magnum, Klondike ice-cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Knorr soups.
“Overall, Unilever’s strong performance in the period and an increasingly focused strategy has led to a sigh of overdue relief from investors,” commented Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investors.
Unilever’s biggest unit – beauty and personal care – recorded a dip in sales, although the demand for hygiene products surged amid the pandemic. The firm said its sales of skin-cleansing products rose 27% in the first half of the year.
“From the start of the Covid-19 crisis, we have been guided by clear priorities in line with our multi-stakeholder business model to protect our people, safeguard supply, respond to new patterns of consumer demand, preserve cash, and support our communities,” added Jope.
Technical analysis: New 4-month high
Unilever stock price surged 8% to hit 50.90, the highest level recorded since early March. The price action is now fighting to close above the 50.60 mark, which is a former resistance. A clean break above this figure would open the door for a more substantial move higher.
The buyers are likely to target the 2020 high above the 55.00 handle as their next target. As seen in the daily chart, the price action has also broken above the descending trend line. If it can stay here beyond this week, Unilever share price could be trading in the bullish mode in the time ahead.
Unilever stock price surged 8% to hit a new 4-month high after the Anglo-Dutch giant reported a rise in its net income by 10%.