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Kimberly-Clark (KMB - Get Report) is one of the big names in the consumer health and hygiene market, built on a portfolio of household-name brands that includes Kleenex, Scott towels, Huggies and Kotex. Like most other major consumer non-cyclicals, Kimberly-Clark benefits from huge exposure abroad that accounts for nearly half of sales. Emerging market consumption of the firm's products -- particularly convenience offerings like Huggies -- presents a big opportunity for KMB to grow its top line in the next few years.
A rebounding economy has taken pressure off of KMB on the private-label front; with offerings like Kleenex much more readily comparable with store brand bargain tissues, the firm saw its top line get knocked by trading down in the grocery aisles during the recession. Inflation is a big concern for KMB right now. With input costs rising at a quick clip (especially in this commodity market), the firm will need to be able to pass those costs onto consumers quickly if it wants to avoid margin squeeze.
But that margin squeeze hasn't hampered Kimberly-Clark's dividend payout. On Tuesday, the firm announced a 5.7% dividend increase that brings its quarterly payout to 74 cents per share. That's an impressive 4.1% yield at current price levels. All things considered KMB gets core-holding status for income investors at those levels.
Kimberly-Clark shows up on a recent list of
10 Stocks That Will Let You Retire.