) -- Swine flu is the economic gift that keeps on giving. In today's iteration of that phenomenon, face masks to guard against swine flu helped boost
third-quarter profit 41%.
Coupled with cost cuts, higher prices and lower commodity and energy costs, Kimberly-Clark raised its full-year forecast.
During the quarter, the maker of Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissues earned $582 million, or $1.40 a share, compared with $413 million, or 99 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.13 a share.
Revenue slipped 2% to $4.91 billion. Fears of the swine flu led to an uptick in mask purchases, which boosted health-care revenue at Kimberly-Clark by 16%.
But sales volume for Huggies diapers fell 5%, declined double digits for paper towels and was down mid-single digits for Kleenex.
Looking ahead, Kimberly-Clark now expects to earn between $4.50 to $4.60 a share for the year, up from a prior forecast of $4.10 to $4.25 a share.
Shares of the company jumped 5.3% to $62.86.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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