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Clorox Co. on March 14 warned that earnings for its fiscal year ended June 30 would be lower than previously expected, due to continued slow sales for its Hidden Valley Ranch, Glad, Armor All and STP brands and increased raw material costs.

Though Clorox said it should meet analyst estimates for the current quarter, it projected earnings of $1.60 and $1.63 a share for the year, down 7% to 9% from last year.

Shares of Clorox were up 56 cents to $32.05 in New York Stock Exchange trading on Wednesday morning. The stock has fallen 34 percent from the 52-week high of $48.63 it hit on Nov. 22, 2000.

Despite the slowdown, Clorox Chairman-CEO Craig Sullivan said the company would stick by its previously announced program of ad spending increases for the second half of the fiscal year. Brands benefitting from the marketing plan include Clorox 2 laundry additives, Brita water filters, Formula 409, Tilex and Pine Sol cleaners and Scoop Away and Fresh Step cat litter. Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, handles the account.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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