Kimberly-Clark Beats Expectations Despite Currency Volatility
Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB – $120.89) a manufacturer of personal care, consumer and professional cleaning products, reported its financial results for the third quarter. On an adjusted basis, net income for the period was $826 million, or $1.51 per share, compared to $878 million or $1.50 in the year-ago period and higher than the $1.49 per share Street estimate. Net sales were $4.72 billion, down from $5.06 billion reported for the same period last year, but above the $4.68 billion consensus view. Foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales 12% as a result of the weakening of most currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. Organic sales, however, rose more than 5% as volumes increased approximately 5% and product mix/other was also slightly favorable. In the U.S., Kimberly-Clark has struggled over the past year to claw back market share in Huggies diapers, which have lost ground to Procter & Gamble’s Pampers and Luvs brands. The company’s adult-incontinence products, sold under the Depend and Poise brands, also have been under assault from P&G, which last year re-entered the incontinence business. Sales at the consumer tissue segment, which includes Cottonelle and Kleenex, fell 10% to $1.5 billion, which included an 11% currency impact offset by a 2% volume growth. For full year 2015, the company expects adjusted earnings to range from $5.70 to $5.80 per share, a bit better than the $5.74 mid-range from the Street. Organic sales growth is also expected to reach 3% to 5% for the full year. The shares, yielding over 3%, reached an all-time high on the news and positions in Dallas-based KMB can be maintained in a well-diversified income account for steady, long-term total returns.