U.S. Markets closed

Earnings Preview: Procter & Gamble

NEW YORK (AP) -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings report should give indications on how its plan to cut costs and focus on its most profitable markets and products is playing out globally.

The world's largest consumer products maker reports results for the October-December period before the market opens on Friday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Cincinnati-based company, whose products range from Tide detergent to Crest toothpaste and Gillette razors, ran into problems when it raised and lowered prices too much on some items. It has been adjusting prices.

P&G also expanded too fast in some product areas in some emerging markets, which make up nearly 40 percent of its sales, as the global economy fluctuated.

The company is focusing on its 20 biggest new products and its 10 most profitable emerging market regions.

Meanwhile, it wants to cut $10 billion in costs by fiscal 2016, partly through job cuts.

WHY IT MATTERS: P&G's well-known products appeal to people at many income levels around the world, so the company's performance hints at how willing and able people are to spend.

Its status at the top of the consumer-goods hierarchy also means P&G's strategy can be a bellwether for the rest of the industry.

EXPECTATIONS: Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expect P&G to report earnings of $1.11 cents per share on revenue of $21.86 billion for the October-through-December period.

P&G itself has forecast second-quarter earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.07 to $1.13 per share on revenue of about $21.9 billion to $22.3 billion.

LAST YEAR: In the same period a year ago, P&G earned 57 cents per share, or $1.10 per share excluding one-time items, on revenue of $22.14 billion.