Health and hygiene company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation reported mixed 4Q18 results on Wednesday (23 January), with revenue at $4.57bn vs $4.60bn posted in 4Q17, while diluted EPS came in at $1.60 compared with $1.57 recorded in the same period of 2017. Revenue came in above the Refinitiv consensus analyst expectations of $4.45bn, as the firm raised its prices to offset higher raw material and transportation costs, but earnings disappointed coming in below the $1.68 Refinitiv consensus analysts’ estimate.
Fourth-quarter operating profit was $639mn, including charges related to its 2018 global restructuring programme. Results were impacted by $215mn more in raw material costs, including $115mn for pulp, the major ingredient in its tissues, diapers and sanitary pads. Net income was down 33% YoY to $411mn, or $1.18/share.
Organic sales were even in developed markets (DMs) and rose 4% YoY in emerging markets (EMs). In terms of segments, Personal Care recorded 4Q18 sales of $2.2bn (-2% YoY), while Consumer Tissue revenue came in at $1.5bn (basically flat) and the K-C Professional (KCP) segment posted sales of $841mn (+2% YoY).
The firm’s gross margin was squeezed by 420 bpts to 30.7%.
During the quarter, the company repurchased 1.8mn shares for $199mn.
Looking ahead, for FY19, the company said it expects EPS to be between $6.50 and $6.70.