Like so many other high-flying dividend dominators, KMB's share price has been driven more by the trailing 12-month revenue per share than by the quarterly year-over-year diluted EPS. The cost-cutting success of the company's leadership should be given some credit as well.
How about the other three members of what I call "The Four Horsemen of Consumer Goods" companies? Friday was a great day for them as well. Sure enough, Clorox ( CLX) hit a 52-week high of $90.08 Friday before closing at $89.55. It's selling at 19 times forward earnings and the dividend yield is down to 2.86%. CLX marches into the earnings confessional on May 1. Then there's Colgate-Palmolive ( CL)which also hit penthouse pricing today to an all-time high of $119.89 on lower-than-average volume. Also selling at 19 times forward earnings this "horseman of consumer goods" has a dividend yield-to-price of only 2.27%. Yes, I'm aware that the 10-year Treasury bond only yields 1.7% and state income tax-free. But I wouldn't feel comfortable having you chase that yield either. And my discomfort with these sky-high consumer goods companies has more to do with how they will sustain their share price levels. CL's dividend payout ratio is approaching 50% while KMB's is around 67%! Yikes!