Kimberly Clark (KMB) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Kimberly-Clark has lagged the industry in the past three months, largely accountable to higher input costs that have been troubling the company for a while now. Well, commodity cost inflation of $175 million, stemming from greater costs of pulp and other raw materials dented Kimberly-Clark’s adjusted operating profit in first-quarter of 2018. This also compelled management to raise its input cost inflation view for 2018 to a range of $400-$550 million. Also, the company has been struggling with strained gross margins and lower net selling prices. Nonetheless, we commend Kimberly-Clark’s solid cost-saving efforts, which drove earnings growth in the first quarter. Earnings were also fueled by higher sales, which gained from focus on innovations. Notably, the company is well on track with its FORCE and 2018 Global Restructuring plans, which together are expected to deliver cost savings of more than $2 billion over the next four years.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a market perform rating and issued a $110.00 price objective (down previously from $115.00) on shares of Kimberly Clark in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kimberly Clark from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday, June 2nd. Barclays reissued a hold rating and issued a $113.00 price objective on shares of Kimberly Clark in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Kimberly Clark in a report on Thursday, June 21st. They set an underweight rating and a $94.00 price target for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an in-line rating on shares of Kimberly Clark in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Kimberly Clark presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $113.64.

Kimberly Clark opened at $103.32 on Tuesday, Marketbeat reports. Kimberly Clark has a 52-week low of $97.10 and a 52-week high of $133.54. The firm has a market capitalization of $36.29 billion, a PE ratio of 16.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 10.96.

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 23rd. The company reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.71. Kimberly Clark had a net margin of 9.77% and a return on equity of 398.41%. The company had revenue of $4.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.57 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Kimberly Clark will post 6.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, June 8th will be issued a dividend of $1.00 per share. This represents a $4.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 7th. Kimberly Clark’s payout ratio is 64.21%.

In other Kimberly Clark news, SVP Sandra Macquillan sold 3,045 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.63, for a total transaction of $321,643.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,642 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $595,964.46. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Jeffrey P. Melucci sold 330 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.97, for a total transaction of $34,970.10. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,132 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $543,838.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.64% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Avalon Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Kimberly Clark by 25.5% during the 1st quarter. Avalon Advisors LLC now owns 146,591 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,144,000 after acquiring an additional 29,828 shares in the last quarter. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth $372,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth $1,349,000. Nicola Wealth Management LTD. acquired a new position in Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth $2,335,000. Finally, Chesapeake Wealth Management acquired a new position in Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth $221,000. 73.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Kimberly Clark

Kimberly-Clark Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets personal care, consumer tissue, and professional products worldwide. It operates through three segments: Personal Care, Consumer Tissue, and K-C Professional. The Personal Care segment offers disposable diapers, training and youth pants, swimpants, baby wipes, feminine and incontinence care products, and other related products under the Huggies, Pull-Ups, Little Swimmers, GoodNites, DryNites, Kotex, U by Kotex, Intimus, Depend, Plenitud, Poise, and other brand names.

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