On Wednesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) will release its quarterly report, and shareholders have been cautiously optimistic about the consumer-products giant's ability to start growing more sustainably again. Even with Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) and Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) competing against it around the world, Procter & Gamble has an unmatched reputation and brand presence that give it a serious advantage over its rivals in seeking to capture the rising consumer class in emerging markets across the globe.

Procter & Gamble's products have a place in millions of American households and in the vast majority of countries around the world. But even a ubiquitous company like Procter & Gamble isn't immune from economic pressures, and the bumpy road that many emerging markets have faced recently poses a threat to P&G's long-term strategy of adding to its count of loyal customers. Can Procter & Gamble fend off Kimberly Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, and the rest of its competitors? Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Procter & Gamble over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its report.

Source: Procter & Gamble.

Stats on Procter & Gamble

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$20.68 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

What's next for Procter & Gamble earnings?
Analysts have pulled back on their views on Procter & Gamble earnings in recent months, cutting their first-quarter estimates by $0.07 per share and reducing their full-year fiscal 2014 and 2015 projections by 1% to 2% as well. The stock has held up well, rising 2% since mid-January.

Procter & Gamble impressed investors with its fourth-quarter earnings report, which included an 8% rise in adjusted profit driven by 3% organic sales growth. Cost-cutting helped Procter & Gamble keep more of its revenue on its bottom line, and the company thinks it can roughly quadruple the amount of savings it has achieved so far and do so sustainably in a way that will lead to permanent cost reductions. P&G highlighted the Winter Olympics as a venue to announce new product lines and variants, and giving shoppers new things to try could well be a strong catalyst for further growth for the company.


Source: Procter & Gamble.

But less than a month later, it had to reduce its guidance for the fiscal 2014 year, cutting estimates for sales growth by half and reducing earnings targets as well. The culprit was the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar, which was only the latest in a series of currency-related headwinds that it has had to face alongside peers Kimberly Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The move wasn't the first time the company has had to deal with currency devaluation, and given the significant number of assets that Procter & Gamble has in Venezuela, it might well not be the last.

Still, Procter & Gamble's focus remains on emphasizing its highest-potential businesses while getting rid of those that don't make the cut. Within the past month, it said it would sell a large part of its pet-food brands to Mars for $2.9 billion, and although P&G will keep some of its pet products, it's clear that the company wants to avoid a repeat of the recall it had to make last year due to possible contamination of pet food.

In the Procter & Gamble earnings report, watch to see how various regions of the world compare to each other in terms of sales and net income. With so much potential, the company needs to double down on making sure it competes in key emerging markets around the world to avoid letting its rivals gain the upper hand.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Kimberly Clark and Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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