CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. “[Chattem] experienced the most successful year in its 128 year history,” stated Zan Guerry, Chattem chairman and chief executive officer Tuesday morning as the consumer-packaged goods company reported results for the year ending Nov. 30. “Early in the year, we made the exciting acquisition of five brands from Johnson & Johnson and were able to integrate those brands into our organization smoothly and ahead of schedule. The acquisition, combined with the growth of our existing business, resulted in a 41 percent increase in total revenues for the year to a record $423 million and even more impressive earnings growth.”
The company was particularly bullish on its Kaopectate brand acquired from J&J—sales of the brand were down between 15 percent and 20 percent for the month of December, Chattem reported citing Nielsen company figures, but were up between 15 percent and 20 percent through the first three weeks of January, according to sales figures culled from Chattem’s top four accounts. “We cannot tell if it’s our media working or Jim Cramer drinking all this Kaopectate,” joked Rob Bosworth, president and chief operating officer of Chattem, this morning during a conference call with analysts. Cramer, who hosts Mad Money on CNBC, has recently reiterated his strong-buy recommendation on Chattem stock.
December advertising was also credited for driving sales of its Cortizone-10 brand—up 6 percent through December and up 20 percent across the first three weeks of January. Chattem hadn’t supported Cortizone in the winter previously, but noted that the brand was doing well positioned against eczema and dry skin during the winter months.
New products making their debut later this year include a Cortizone Intensive Healing line extension, which is comparable to Chattem’s Gold Bond Ultimate Healing, Icy Hot PM, to be supported with two new commercials in the spring, and Gold Bond Restoring.