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The Dow Drops Behind Procter & Gamble's Emerging-Market Disappointment

By Dan Carroll - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:30PM

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Procter & Gamble cuts core earnings and sales growth expectations, but investors shouldn't be too concerned over this consumer giant's direction.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The markets haven't figured out where they're headed today, bumping all over the charts as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.86%) fluctuates between gaining and falling. As of 2:30 p.m. EST, the Dow has dropped 30 points into the red even though more than half of the index's blue-chip stocks have managed to climb on the day. Procter & Gamble (PG -0.03%) investors are feeling the pain, as the consumer giant's shares have shed 1.7% over emerging market woes to lead the Dow down, while Cisco (CSCO -1.36%) is gaining a bit of headway before its earnings release following the closing bell today. Let's catch up on what you need to know.

Cisco braces for earnings pessimism
Cisco's stock gained about 8% over the past year even as the market rallied far higher.The networking specialist has an opportunity to gain back some momentum with its fiscal second-quarter earnings release, but both the company and analysts aren't so optimistic. Cisco projected second-quarter earnings to decline between 8% and 10% year over year, particularly as emerging markets have fallen into a major slump for the company. Emerging-market revenue plunged 21% in the most recent reported quarter, with China's sales alone dropping 18%.

It's tough to see how Cisco will surprise investors today. The company has placed blame on U.S. government surveillance activities, among other concerns, but Cisco's switching revenue and routing sales are likely to fall significantly again, according to estimates from Credit Suisse. Cisco has emerged as one of the Dow's dividend leaders of late with a 3% yield, and it's income investors who will likely be the beneficiaries of the stock in the long term, as growth remains elusive.

Procter & Gamble is also feeling the pain from emerging markets today as the stock has fallen to the bottom of the Dow. P&G announced earlier that it foresees full-year sales of between flat to 2% growth and core earnings growth of between 3% and 5%, both of which are down from earlier estimates -- particularly the latter figure, as P&G previously estimated between 5% and 7% full-year growth.

Uncertainty over developing-market currencies holds much of the blame here as emerging markets have struggled as of late, so the fault isn't so much on Procter & Gamble's own business as it is on unfortunate global economic winds. Additionally, P&G just posted a strong earnings report for its most recent quarter in which it met expectations on organic sales and adjusted profit growth while searching for innovation in its existing product lines. P&G will never be a great growth stock due to its broad diversification across the consumer sphere, but it's a steady, reliable dividend stock with a 3% yield that income investors can count on for the long term. Don't fret over today's bump in the road.

Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems 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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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$33,706.74 (-0.86%) $-292.30
Cisco Systems, Inc. Stock Quote
Cisco Systems, Inc.
CSCO
$48.70 (-1.36%) $0.67
The Procter & Gamble Company Stock Quote
The Procter & Gamble Company
PG
$149.73 (-0.03%) $0.04

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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