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Kimberly-Clark Corp KMB
Q2 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 07/22/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience in holding, we now have your presenters in conference. Please be aware each of your lines is in a listen-only mode. At the conclusion of today's presentation, we will open the floor for your questions. At that time, instructions will be given to the procedure to follow, if you'd like to ask a question.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Paul Alexander.

Paul J. Alexander - VP, IR: Thank you, David and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. With us today are Tom Falk, Chairman and CEO; Mark Buthman, Senior VP and CFO; and Mike Azbell, Vice President and Controller.

Here is the agenda for our call. Mark will begin with the review of second quarter results.

Tom, will then provide his perspectives on our results and the outlook for the year, we'll finish with Q&A. We have a presentation of today's materials in the Investor section of our website which is www.kimberly-clark.com. As a reminder, we will be making forward-looking statements today. Please see the risk factors section of our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion of forward-looking statements.

We will also be referring to adjusted results and outlook, both excludes certain items described in this morning's news release. The release has further information on these adjustments and reconciliations to comparable GAAP financial measures.

Now, I will turn it over to Mark.

Mark A. Buthman - SVP and CFO: Thanks Paul. Good morning. Let's start with the headlines. First, we achieved organic sales growth of 3%, led by 9% growth in K-C International. Second, we increased adjusted earnings per share 8%, driven by organic sales growth and strong cost savings. And third, we're on track with our overall capital plan, including working capital, capital spending, and returning cash flow to shareholders.

Now, some details for the quarter. Second quarter sales were $5.3 billion. It was even with last year. Underlying organic sales rose 3% with increased volumes of 2% and higher net selling prices of 1 point. Lost sales in connection with our restructuring activities reduced sales by 2% and unfavorable currency rates reduced sales by a point. Second quarter adjusted gross margin was 34.5%. That's up 90 basis points from last year. The increase was driven by organic sales growth and $80 million of FORCE cost savings, partially offset by $30 million of input cost inflation.

I'm really pleased with our continued momentum with FORCE. We delivered at least $80 million of savings in each of the last four quarters and we're now raising our full year target to $300 million to $350 million of savings for the year. That range is $50 million higher than our previous expectation and will help offset additional currency headwinds that Tom will talk about in a minute.

Moving down to P&L. Adjusted operating profit rose 6%, with an operating margin of 15.5%, that's up 80 basis points compared to last year. Strategic marketing spending was down $20 million, and that comparison was impacted by a high level of innovation related to spending in the second quarter of last year and also some lower spending in Europe this year given the strategic changes we're making there.

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