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Kimberly-Clark (KMB) - Get Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Monday and said long-time CEO Thomas Falk would step down next year to make way for President and COO Mike Hsu.

Kimberly-Clark said adjusted earning for the three months ending in September came in at $1.71 per share, topping the consensus forecast of $1.63 per share and rising 7% from the same period last years. Group sales fell 2% to $4.6 billion, the company said, but noted that organic revenues rose by 1% and the year-on-year fall was linked to currency headwinds from a stronger U.S. dollar. The group held its full-year earnings forecast of $6.6 to $6.80 per share unchanged, an estimate which sits at the upper-end of the Street's forecast, and announced that Falk would become executive chairman as Hsu transitions to the CEO role on January 1.

"Mike is a great choice to become Kimberly-Clark's next CEO and lead the company forward in its next phase of growth and value creation," said Falk. "His passion, vision and track record of delivering great results will build upon Kimberly-Clark's nearly 150-year legacy of caring for the needs of people around the world while achieving top-tier performance."

Kimberly-Clark shares rose 0.8% at the opening bell to change hands at $111.10 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date loss to around 7% and values the Dallas, Tx.-based group at around $40 billion.

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"We delivered 1 percent organic sales growth in the third quarter, reflecting our initiatives to improve selling prices and product mix," Falk said. "While our profitability was impacted by significant commodity and currency headwinds, we continue to launch innovations, pursue our growth priorities and invest in our brands for long-term success."

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global currency peers, rose 0.7% over the three months ending in September and 1.33% against the European single currency.

Sales in the group's consumer tissues segment, which includes Kleenex, Cottonelle and Andrex fell 3% to $1.5 billion, the company said, while personal care revenues, which includes Huggies and Kotex brands, were 1% lower at $2.3 billion.