Kimberly-Clark Falls After Earnings, Outlook Miss Estimates

Consumer-goods maker Kimberly-Clark missed analysts' third-quarter earnings estimates as manufacturing costs rose.
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Shares of Kimberly-Clark  (KMB) - Get Report were lower after the producer of Scott and Cottonelle toilet paper and Kleenex tissues reported third-quarter results that missed estimates.

The Dallas company posted earnings per share of $1.38, down 29% from $1.94 in the year-earlier period. The latest adjusted earnings of $1.72 a share compared with $1.84 a year earlier and missed the FactSet analyst consensus of $1.76 a share. 

Sales edged up 0.9% to $4.68 billion from $4.64 billion. The latest figure beat the FactSet forecast of $4.6 billion.

Sales in North America increased 6%. Volumes increased 5%, driven by baby and child care. The combined impact of changes in net selling prices and product mix improved sales 1%, the company said.

"While earnings in the quarter were down as expected, we're raising our full-year outlook and now expect adjusted earnings per share will grow 9% to 11% this year," Chairman and Chief Executive Mike Hsu said in a statement.

"We continue to execute our strategies well and remain very optimistic about our opportunities to deliver balanced and sustainable growth and create long-term shareholder value."

The results reflected a number of factors, including unfavorable currency effects, higher advertising spending, manufacturing-cost increases and higher general and administrative costs.

Hsu added, "We delivered solid organic-sales growth in the third quarter, with good underlying performance and increased demand because of covid-19. 

"We also achieved $140 million of cost savings and returned approximately $560 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."

Cash provided by operations in third-quarter 2020 was $559 million, down from $886 million in the 2019 third quarter. The decrease was driven by the timing of tax payments and higher working capital, the company said.

The company raised its full-year outlook, targeting organic -- excluding acquisitions -- net sales growth of 5% and adjusted earnings per share of $7.50 to $7.65. That range comes up short of the FactSet full-year consensus of $7.71. The company previously had pegged adjusted profit for the year at $7.40 to $7.60 a share.

GAAP full-year net income is seen at $6.41 to $6.72 a share.

The maker of Huggies diapers also said it expected to spend $700 million on share buybacks for the full year.

Shares of the company at last check were off 5.9% to $139.59.

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