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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.

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. 

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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.