Unilever’s decision to scrap its financial targets sent its shares skidding this week and raised the spectre that more companies may follow suit.
So far, U.S.-based groups such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Sara Lee have trimmed their guidance rather than abandoned it. But some analysts think other consumer goods powerhouses in Europe, where the tradition of giving clear earnings guidance is less well-rooted than in the U.S., might copy Unilever in throwing in the towel.
Nestle, Danone and Reckitt Benckiser all report results in the next two weeks.
At the same time, the world’s second largest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, is also giving up the practice of guiding the market on profits.