Kimberly-Clark Corp. (HAL - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Monday, and confirmed its full-year outlook, as sales from its personal care division, which includes Huggies diapers, offset weaker tissue segment revenues.
Kimberly-Clark said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March came in at $1.66 per share, down 2.9% from the same period last year but firmly ahead of the Street consensus of $1.55 per share. Group sales, Kimberly-Clark said, slipped 2.1% to $4.6 billion but again beat analysts' forecasts of $4.55 billion.
Personal Care sales fell 1% to $2.3 billion, Kimberly-Clark said, although net selling prices rose 2% and volumes rose 1%. North American segment sales, the company said, rose 3%.
Looking into 2019, Kimberly-Clark said it sees full-year adjusted earnings in the region of $6.50 to $6.70 per share and an organic sales growth rate of around 2%.
"I'm encouraged with our first quarter results. We made excellent progress driving higher selling prices to help offset commodity and currency headwinds," said CEO Mike Hsu. "We also continued to launch innovations, pursue our growth priorities and invest in our brands. In addition, we generated $115 million of cost savings and returned $510 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."
"We are confirming our previous full-year outlook while we maintain a strong focus on executing K-C Strategy 2022 for long-term success," he added
Kimberly-Clark shares were up 5.8% Monday at $130.66.