Kimberly-Clark Falls as High Materials Costs Bring in Weak 2022 Guidance

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Kimberly-Clark Falls as High Materials Costs Bring in Weak 2022 Guidance
Credit: © Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Kimberly-Clark stock (NYSE: KMB ) fell 3.7% Wednesday as high raw material prices weighed on its annual outlook.

The maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers is projecting its 2022 profit per share to be $5.60 to $6 on organic sales growth of 3% to 4%. This compares with 2021 EPS of $6.18 when organic sales fell 1%.

Net sales in the current financial year are seen increasing 1% to 2% compared to 2% growth in 2021.

“While we expect inflation and supply-chain disruption to persist into 2022, we are committed to recovering margins to pre-pandemic levels over time, and we are optimistic about gradual improvement later in the year,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu said in a statement.

Sales of $5 billion in the fourth quarter rose 3% year-on-year, riding on price hikes. Kimberly said organic sales increased 3% during the quarter as net selling prices rose 2% and product mix increased sales 1%. Volumes were higher in personal care but fell in both consumer tissue and K-C Professional business.

Fourth quarter sales in personal care segment came in at $2.6 billion and were higher by 12%, driven by both price hikes and higher volumes. However, the consumer tissue segment suffered reverses. Sales fell 10% to $1.6 billion as both prices and volumes fell. Sales of these products were higher last year owing to Covid.

Adjusted profit per share of $1.30 beat estimates.

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