Pressured by persistently-tough trading conditions in the UK and Africa, the FTSE 250 business cautioned that full-year profits "will fall short of expectations" and range between £80m and £85m.
City brokers had already been expecting earnings to fall 3% in the 12 months to May, and the announcement will cause commentators to now be fearing a pretty-painful reversal. If Cussons isn't careful the 9% advance pencilled in for fiscal 2019 could fall by the wayside too.
Despite these troubles, however, I still consider it to be an excellent dividend stock for long-term investors. Indeed, the 16% share price slump on Thursday could be a splendid buying opportunity, particularly as the household goods giant now deals on a forward P/E ratio of just 12.9 times.
It is clear that the pulling power of household labels like Imperial Leather and Original Source has not been strong enough to drag its British and Nigerian units out of the mire. Inflation-crimped wallets have caused consumers to leave these products on the shelves, and so Cussons is embarking on a fresh raft of measures to stop the rot, including the release of less-frequent-but-larger product launches and lowering prices to turn around its top line.
As I said, troubles in its core regions are nothing new and Thursday's share price slump is indicative of many investors finally running out of patience. Still, I believe the company has the know-how and the necessary brand power to overcome these troubles. And its sizeable emerging markets exposure puts it in great shape to benefit from rising population levels and increasing disposable incomes in the years ahead.
And for dividend chasers, the highly cash-generative operations of Cussons means that the business remains in great shape to keep its 44-year-old progressive dividend policy trucking, despite any earnings turbulence.
Current City projections suggest that fiscal 2017's 8.28p per share dividend will rise to 8.4p this year and again to 8.9p next year. Consequently, Cussons sports chunky yields of 3.6% and 3.9% for this year and next.
But if Cussons isn't to your liking then 888 Holdings (LSE: 888) may well be. While the online gambling colossus is not without risk due to the tough regulatory backdrop in the UK, many investors still consider it to be worth a punt and this is reflected in its rapid share price ascent of recent weeks.
Share pickers are piling back in, hoping for more bubbly trading news when full-year numbers are released next week. And why not? In December 888 advised of "further progress in Casino, strong momentum with 888Sport, increased activity on mobile devices and continued expansion in regulated Continental European markets."
With earnings predicted to step 9% higher in 2018 City analysts are expecting the dividend to grow to 14.5 cents per share from a predicted 13.3 cents for 2017. This results in a delicious yield of 3.4%.
And helped by an estimated 8% profits advance next year, the shareholder reward is anticipated to grow again, this time to 16.1 cents. As a result the yield steps to an even better 3.8%.
888 may be expensive, changing hands on a forward P/E ratio of 20.4 times. But I reckon the broad-based progress the firm is currently enjoying makes it worthy of such a premium.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of PZ Cussons. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.