Newell Rubbermaid’s (NWL) strong Q2 results were boosted by hearty sales of innovative new Sharpie magic markers, Contigo and Bubba water bottles, and even Baby Jogger strollers and Graco carseats. The gains in areas reflect ongoing efforts to diversify into new categories at major retailers globally. ‘A huge part of what’s driving the strong performance is the quality and strength of our innovation,’ said Newell Rubbermaid president and CEO Michael Polk in an interview with TheStreet. Newell Rubbermaid’s second quarter sales rose 4% to $1.56 billion, beating consensus forecasts of $1.54 billion. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, what Newell Rubbermaid refers to as 'core sales' increased 5.1% year over year. The second quarter’s sales growth was led by the company’s writing and baby segments, where core sales rose 10.8% and 6.0%, respectively. Sales of water bottles were also strong. Excluding one-time items, earnings per share came in $0.64, surpassing Wall Street’s estimate for $0.62. The company hiked its full year sales forecast to 4% to 5%, from 3.5% to 4.5% previously. Earnings per share are now seen reaching $2.14 to $2.20, compared to previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.18. The strength of the second quarter, and guidance lift added more fuel to Newell Rubbermaid shares, which have now gained an impressive 13% year to date. Over the past year, the stock has surged about 30%, easily outperforming the 6.6% gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 8.5% advance for the S&P 500.
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