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Kimberly-Clark Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now turning back to our results. On an adjusted basis, second quarter operating profit rose 8% with an operating margin of 14.7%. That's up 110 basis points compared to prior year. Our investment between the lines increased, including a $35 million step-up in strategic marketing to support our product innovations and targeted growth initiatives. Administrative and research spending also increased as we continue to build capabilities to support future growth, particularly in K-C International.

Second quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.30 compared with $1.18 last year. While we benefited from a slightly lower adjusted effective tax rate, that effect was mostly offset by lower equity income.

Cash provided by operations in the second quarter was a solid $740 million. That compares to a strong year-ago performance of $771 million. In terms of primary working capital, I'm encouraged that we're on track with our plan to reduce our cash conversion cycle by at least 2 days this year.

We continue to allocate capital in shareholder-friendly ways. During the second quarter, we repurchased 2.5 million shares of KMB stock at a cost of $200 million. We now anticipate full year share repurchases of $1.3 billion, up from our previous target of $900 million to $1.1 million for the year. This reflects our expectation for additional excess cash flow, including proceeds from the exercise of stock options.

And the last, we're now expecting a more moderate year-on-year decline in our diluted share count than we previously anticipated. That's mostly due to the accounting impact of option exercises.

Now I'll highlight a few areas from our segment results for the quarter. In Personal Care, organic sales rose 7%, with volumes up 4% and net selling prices advancing 3%. We had another quarter of strong volume growth in K-C International, including high-single digit growth in each of our major regions. The growth initiatives performed very well. In fact, in the Diaper category, specifically, China volumes grew by more than 40%, and Brazil and Russia volumes were each up approximately 20%. Elsewhere, our European business delivered solid volume growth in the quarter, while our North American volumes were down slightly.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

Stock quotes in this article: KMB 

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