Clorox to report fiscal Q4 results this week, but investors more interested in what company has to say about Icahn takeover bid

OAKLAND, California , August 1, 2011 () – Clorox Co. will report results for its fiscal fourth quarter Wednesday, but investors will likely be more interested in what the company has to say about the takeover bid that billionaire investor Carl Icahn is engineering.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Clorox, like other consumer-products companies, has been raising prices this year to deal with higher costs for the raw materials it needs to make its products. Wednesday's results should provide a clue about whether customers have been willing to pay the higher prices or if they've pushed back by not shopping or trading down to cheaper store brands.

But investors are also clamoring for more details on how Clorox is dealing with a takeover offer from activist tycoon Icahn. Since mid-July, Icahn has twice offered to buy Clorox -- first for $76.50 a share, then for $80 after Clorox rejected him. Both times, the Clorox board said Icahn's offer wasn't credible or big enough.

THE BIG PICTURE: Clorox sells its products -- which include Burt's Bees lip balm, Glad trash bags, and household cleaning products -- to shoppers at a variety of income levels, so its revenue is a good barometer of how people are feeling about the economy. Its stand-off with Icahn also could indicate how confident the consumer-products industry is about its future earnings potential.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect earnings of $1.19 per share and revenue of $1.47 billion.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: In the quarter ended June 30, 2010, Clorox reported earnings of $1.20 per share on revenue of $1.52 billion.

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