Consumer products company Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB – $131.81) reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that were higher than Wall Street expected. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $1.53 per share, which beat the $1.47 per-share earnings consensus and compared to $1.41 last year’s second period. Sales hit $4.59 billion during the quarter, compared with $4.64 billion a year ago. The Street estimate on revenue was $4.57 billion. A standout in Kimberly-Clark’s 4% volume growth in the quarter is the 8% jump logged in the North America personal-care segment. That’s a number most any consumer-product company would take in this ongoing slow, if any, growth environment. Seemingly helping boost demand was a 3% price drop which included promotional activity. Adult, child and feminine-care products each logged nearly 10% growth while diaper volumes had a mid-single-digit gain. North America was also strong on the tissue side, with volume up 6% on mid-to-high single-digit increases in all product categories, led by facial brands.
But Kimberly now sees core sales at the lower end of prior views and said it expects its restructuring, which began in October 2014, to be completed by the end of the year. The company sees full-year adjusted earnings to fall to between $5.95 to $6.15 per share, which is in the range of the median consensus estimate of $6.09. These top-quality shares still hold good investment appeal. Even though the issue’s recent twenty percent twelve-month share price increase has limited some of its capital appreciation potential out to 2019-2021, KMB still holds worthwhile risk-adjusted, total return prospects over that period thanks in part to a dividend yield of 2.7% that sweetens the pot.