Kimberly-Clark Cleans Up, Raises Outlook

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) is tissuing up some of its mess and raising full-year guidance as a result.

During the quarter, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies diapers earned $403 million, or 97 cents a share, down from $417 million, or 99 cents, in the year-ago period. Currency weighed down earnings by about 25 cents.

Analysts expected earnings of 94 cents a share.

Revenue declined 6% to $4.73 billion from $5 billion a year ago, with sales of consumer tissue products slipping 8%. It seems consumers might not need name-brand Kleenex to wipe their noses during historically austere times.

In further support of that argument, even though selling prices rose about 6% in personal care products, sales in the division still declined 2%.

Looking ahead, the company expects earnings between $4.10 and $4.25 a share, up from its previous projection between $4 and $4.20 a share.

The brighter outlook is attributable to cost cuts, specifically the 1,600 job cuts announced last month. The company said at the time it expects the cuts to result in savings of about $60 million, or 10 cents a share, during the second half of the year.

Shares of Kimberly-Clark jumped 4% to $56.52 in early morning trading.

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