Clorox warns of product shortages, profit hit from August cyberattack

Clorox  (CLX) – Get Free Report shares slumped lower Monday after the consumer brands group said a recent cyber attack would trigger product shortages and take a bit out of its bottom line.

Clorox said it identified a breach of its IT systems on August 14, and took immediate steps to shutdown portions of its network and take some of its systems offline. As a result, the group had to revert to what it called “manual ordering and processing procedures” that have lead to an “elevated level of consumer product availability issues”.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published Monday, the group said it should begin transitioning to fully-automated ordering by next week, but could not say how long it would take to resume normal operations. 

“Clorox is still evaluating the extent of the financial and business impact. Due to the order processing delays and elevated level of product outages, the Company now believes the impact will be material on Q1 financial results,” Clorox said. “It is premature for the Company to determine longer-term impact, including fiscal year outlook, given the ongoing recovery.”

Clorox shares were marked 0.66% lower in early Monday trading to change hands at $145.24 each, a move that would trim the stock’s year-to-date gain to around 3.5%.

Last month, Clorox posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings of $1.67 per share, with revenues rising 12% to $2 billion. Gross margins improved by more than 5%, as well, to 42.7% as the cleaning and household brands group passed on more prices increase amid the uptick in summer inflation.

Looking into its current fiscal year, Clorox said at the time that it sees net sales flat to 2% higher from 2023 totals, which were pegged at $7.4 billion,  with gross margins increasing by as much as 1.75% “primarily due to the combined benefit of pricing, cost savings and supply chain optimization.”

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