Commentary: Most Of Gillette's Bleeding Is Self Inflicted

Few investors should have been surprised by Gillette's Sept. 18 warning that it would miss third-quarter earnings estimates. Such warnings have become par for the course at the consumer-goods giant, which until two years ago was one of the most admired and predictable performers. Through mid-1998, it racked up 32 straight quarters of double-digit growth in earnings per share. Since then, senior managers have repeatedly promised investors a return to those glory days--and repeatedly failed to get there.

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