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Kimberly-Clark Stock Falls as Supply Chain Woes Dent Earnings

Kimberly-Clark shares fall as supply chain woes dent third-quarter toilet paper, Kleenex and diaper sales, prompting it to lower full-year guidance.

Kimberly-Clark  (KMB) - Get Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) Report shares fell Monday after the company reported third-quarter adjusted earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts as inflation and supply chain disruptions put a dent in sales of toilet paper, Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers.

The company also lowered its guidance for the second straight quarter.

Kimberly-Clark reported third-quarter net income of $469 million, or $1.39 a share, compared with $472 million, or $138 a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, per-share earnings were $1.62, below FactSet consensus estimates of $1.65 a share.

Sales totaled $5.01 billion, up 7% from a year ago and in line with analysts' estimates of $5 billion. North America sales increased 3% in consumer products and 16% in K-C Professional. Outside North America, organic sales were up 6% in developing and emerging (D&E) markets and were even with year-ago in developed markets.

Sales in the company’s personal care business segment, which includes Huggies diapers and Poise and Depend leak-proof underwear, rose 14% to $2.7 billion, while sales in the consumer tissue segment, which includes the company’s well-known Scott and Cottonelle toilet paper and Kleenex tissues, fell 5% to $1.5 billion.

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"Our earnings were negatively impacted by significant inflation and supply chain disruptions that increased our costs beyond what we anticipated,” Chairman and CEO Mike Hsu said in a statement. 

“We are taking further action, including additional pricing and enhanced cost management, to mitigate these headwinds as it is becoming clear they are not likely to be resolved quickly,” added Hsu.

Kimberly-Clark said it is now targeting full-year sales declines of between 1% and 2%, wider than previous guidance of a sales drop of between zero and 2%. On a per-share basis, the company is now expecting adjusted per-share earnings of between $6.05 and $6.25, down from previous guidance of between $6.65 and $6.90.

The updated earnings outlook reflects significantly higher input cost inflation, the company said.

At last check, shares of of Kimberly-Clark were down 4.62% at $126.90.