Kimberly-Clark's Profit Falls on Costs

DALLAS ( TheStreet) -- Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) posted an 18.1% drop in second-quarter profit as price increases failed to offset higher costs.

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of a wide range of consumer products including Huggies diapers, Scott paper towels and Kleenex tissues, said quarterly earnings came to $408 million, or $1.03 a share, down from $498, or $1.20 a share, earned in the year-earlier period. Excluding restructuring charges, the company's profit came to $1.18 a share. By that measure, results topped analysts' expectations for EPS of $1.14. Analysts typically exclude one-time items when forecasting earnings estimates.

Total revenue grew 8.3% to $5.26 billion, also higher than expected, and the company raised its full-year sales outlook again, though investors were more concerned with Kimberly-Clark's word that its 2011 profit would likely be in the lower half of its previously announced range. Kimberly-Clark shares were 1% lower in premarket trading Monday, after closing 0.1% higher at $67.90 in Friday's session.

The Dallas company did raise its full-year revenue guidance for the second time, saying it expects growth of 5% to 7%, up from its prior forecast of 4% to 6%. That would come to a range of $20.74 billion to $21.13 billion. Analysts were expecting Kimberly-Clark to post 2011 revenue of $20.74.

"We are gaining market share in a number of businesses and are launching additional product innovations to further improve our brands," said CEO Thomas J. Falk. "Although adjusted earnings per share were down slightly in the second quarter versus last year, we delivered sequential improvement in most key metrics."

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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