Kimberly-Clark (KMB 128.93, -1.03) is lower by 0.8% after reporting slightly lower than expected earnings for the first quarter.
The consumer company reported below-consensus first quarter earnings of $1.53 per share on a 0.2% year-over-year increase in revenue to $4.48 billion, which was also just shy of market expectations.
Overall organic sales declined 1.0% while North American organic sales fell 3.0% due to category softness, competitive activity, and less promotion shipments. The decline in North American organic sales was partially offset by a 4.0% organic sales increase in developing and emerging markets.
Operating profit grew to $834 million from $804 million one year ago. The increase was supported by $110 million in savings from the company's cost cutting program, which overshadowed a $35 million increase in input costs.
Personal Care sales increased 2.0% to $2.30 billion. The increase was driven by 2.0% growth in volumes while net selling prices declined 2.0%. Segment operating profit increased 7.0% to $481 million. North American sales declined 1.0% due to lower volumes while sales in developing and emerging markets rose 9.0%.
Consumer Tissue sales declined 3.0% to $1.50 billion. Volumes fell 2.0% while net selling prices declined 1.0%. Segment operating profit fell 2.0% to $275 million. North American sales fell 6.0% with volumes falling 7.0%. Sales in developing and emerging markets rose 6.0%.
K-C Professional sales rose 1.0% to $800 million. Segment operating profit declined 3.0% to $146 million. North American sales fell 2.0% while overall volumes were unchanged year-over-year. Developing and emerging markets sales rose 7.0%.
Looking ahead, the company expects to generate earnings between $6.20 and $6.35 per share on revenue between $18.38 billion and $18.57 billion. Organic sales are expected to grow between 1.0% and 2.0% after previous guidance called for growth of about 2.0%.