By Nathalie Tadena
Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s (KMB) third-quarter earnings increased 5.6% as the consumer-products company reported organic sales growth and improved margins.
The company raised the low end of its full-year guidance by five cents, now expecting a per-share profit of $5.65 to $5.75 a share.
Kimberly-Clark has recently reported strong sales of high-margin products such as Kleenex tissue and Cottonelle toilet paper in the U.S. However, the company is expected to face more competition in the toilet-paper market from several major retailers upgrading their private-label toilet paper to a kind that is more comparable to that made by Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble Co. (PG).
For the quarter, Kimberly-Clark reported a profit of $546 million, or $1.42 a share, up from $517 million, or $1.30 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, per-share earnings rose to $1.44 from $1.34.
Sales edged up 0.3% to $5.26 billion. Organic sales were up 5%.
Analysts expected per-share earnings of $1.40 on revenue of $5.23 billion.
Gross margin widened to 34.3% from 33.7%.
Sales at the personal-care segment--which includes Huggies and is the largest by revenue--slipped 1.3% to $2.38 billion. Operating profit in the segment was down 2.1%. Regionally, personal-care sales in North America were flat with the year-before period. In Europe personal-care sales were down 40%.
Meanwhile, sales at the consumer-tissue segment--which includes Cottonelle and Kleenex--were up 1.3%. In the health-care segment, sales increased 1.8%. At KC Professional, sales rose 2.6%.
Shares closed at $98.83 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 17% year-to-date.
Write to Nathalie Tadena at email@example.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2013 08:07 ET (12:07 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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