Rubbermaid maker Newell Brands CEO: 'The at-home consumption trends are continuing'

Brian Sozzi
·2 min read

The leftovers from all the food people are still making at home during the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be heading right into Rubbermaid storage bowls.

“We had a great Amazon Prime Day and October, and consumption is continuing to increase,” Newell Brands (NWL) CEO Ravi Saligram told Yahoo Finance Live. “Clearly the at-home consumption trends are continuing.”

A bit of an understatement by Saligram perhaps, who just passed his one-year mark as Newell CEO and in Wall Street’s mind is starting to turn around the long struggling maker of Rubbermaid bowls, Sharpie pens and Coleman coolers.

The company saw third quarter sales rise by double-digit percentages in three of its four business segments. Gains were paced by a 19.5% sales pop at the Home Solutions segment as Yankee Candle stores reopened from lockdown in the second quarter. The appliances and cookware segment — which houses the aforementioned Rubbermaid bowls business — saw sales surge 17%, making it the second-best top line performer for Newell.

But importantly for investors who have watched Newell struggle before Saligram arrived, profit margins rose materially at all segments as the new CEO has cut costs and complexity.

FILE - In this file photograph taken July 30, 2009, Rubbermaid containers are stacked at a store in Detroit. Newell Rubbermaid Inc., which makes consumer products ranging from storage containers and strollers to Sharpie pens, said Friday, July 30, 2010, that its second-quarter profit climbed 23 percent. Overall revenue dipped but revenue from its key products edged up. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)
Rubbermaid containers are stacked at a store in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

The market may be beginning to sniff out a reversal of fortunes for Newell. Shares have spiked 54% over the past six months, according to Yahoo Finance Premium data.

“CEO Saligram will successfully execute the Board’s cost-cutting programs. He will abandon low margin wholesale customers that create channel conflict, repair broken customer relationships, reignite the innovation pipeline, and begin repurchasing shares,” wrote Paragon Intel researchers after Newell’s earnings. The research outfit rates Newell shares at a Buy rating.

With his full management team now set, Saligram is still full steam ahead with his overhaul.

“I think we are finally beginning to turn the corner with Newell Brands and going back to those 1994 days hopefully, when Rubbermaid was Fortune’s most admired. We’ll see if we can get back to its glory days,” Saligram added.

Here is that Fortune story on Rubbermaid from 1994.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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