Kimberly-Clark Profit Beats Estimate as Tissue Paper Sales Jump

Consumer-goods maker Kimberly-Clark topped analysts' earnings and revenue estimates as tissue-paper sales jumped during the pandemic.
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Kimberly-Clark KMB shares rose after the consumer-products company reported strong first-quarter earnings and revenue, particularly a jump in tissue-paper sales during the pandemic. 

The Irving, Texas, company earned $2.13 a share in the quarter, a 28% year over year increase. Net sales were $5 billion, an 8% increase, led by a 13% jump in tissue-paper sales.  

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.97 a share on revenue of $4.89 billion. 

The company saw consumer-tissue sales rise 13% to $1.7 billion while volumes in the segment increased 14% and net selling prices rose 1%. 

"A combination of increased consumer demand for our products and strong execution by our teams is reflected in our first quarter results," Chief Executive Mike Hsu said. 

Hsu also stated, however, that the "lack of visibility" and the "uncertainty" surrounding the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to suspend its guidance. 

Kimberly-Clark's first-quarter operating profit was $904 million, compared with the year-earlier $655 million. 

Consumer staples are one of the few areas of the economy growing during the coronavirus pandemic. The sector saw a 22% jump since March 23 as consumers stock up on groceries, cleaning supplies and other essentials. 

Overall, consumer-goods companies in the S&P 500 are expected to report a 0.8% increase in quarterly earnings during this earnings season, compared with a decline of 12.3% for the companies in the index overall, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

Kimberly Clark shares at last check rose 1.5% to $141.50.