Clorox Co. says it’s experiencing product shortages nationwide across its categories following last month’s attack on its information-technology systems, and the company projects a “material” impact on its quarterly results.
(Bloomberg) — Clorox Co. says it’s experiencing product shortages nationwide across its categories following last month’s attack on its information-technology systems, and the company projects a “material” impact on its quarterly results.
The producer of disinfectants, wipes, cat litter, salad dressing and cleaners said some of its US factories still aren’t making goods, although the “vast majority” have resumed output. Clorox took down certain internal systems after the hack, which resulted in several weeks of ceased production.
For now, the company is manually processing orders at some facilities — a task that is usually automated — as it renews operations. Automated orders are expected to restart next week at Clorox’s US plants.
“Now that it’s prolonged, we’re starting to see product outages across all of our categories,” spokeswoman Linda Mills said. The shortages vary by store and region, she added, and some products are still able to be shipped.
Clorox shares slipped 1.3% at 2:46 p.m. in New York. The stock has gained about 2.8% so far this year, trailing the increase of the S&P 500 Index.
The shortages will hurt results in the current quarter, Clorox said in an update Monday.
“While we cannot yet quantify the financial impact, we now believe this will be material on first-quarter financial results,” the company said. “It is premature for us to determine longer-term impact, including fiscal year outlook, given the ongoing recovery.”
The company has also temporarily disabled parts of some websites that have direct-to-consumer sales, including its Rainbow Light brand of vitamins, and Neocell, which sells collagen capsules. Clorox continues to produce these items, Mills said.
All of Clorox’s US facilities were affected by the cyberattack, which was first announced Aug. 14, including its new cat litter facility that opened late last year in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The company’s factories have remained open despite halting production and employees continue to be paid. Instead of producing goods, workers have focused on cleaning, maintenance and training.
Clorox said that it’s working with the FBI on the attack and that the investigation is progressing.
Prior to the attack, the company was trying to rebuild supply in areas including cat litter, which saw demand boom during the pandemic.
(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph, website information in eighth paragraph)
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