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

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Kimberly-Clark has been gaining from its solid cost-saving efforts. While the company has long been benefiting from its FORCE program, it also unveiled a 2018 Global Restructuring Program, which marks its biggest restructuring in a while. The plan is likely to enhance the company’s underlying profitability, help it compete better and provide flexibility to undertake growth-oriented investments. We believe that such efforts are likely to provide cushion to the stock, which declined in the past six months, while it fared better than the industry. Also, these factors fueled Kimberly-Clark in the fourth quarter of 2017, wherein results gained from cost-savings, lower tax and higher sales at most units. However, input cost inflation has been a concern for a while and is also likely to persist in 2018. Further the company has been struggling with softness in its North American segment and persistent challenges in the diaper category.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on KMB. Citigroup cut Kimberly Clark from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $113.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, December 11th. Deutsche Bank started coverage on Kimberly Clark in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a hold rating and a $121.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Barclays set a $119.00 target price on Kimberly Clark and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $124.56.

Shares of KMB opened at $108.60 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.34. Kimberly Clark has a 1 year low of $104.58 and a 1 year high of $134.29. The stock has a market cap of $38,086.67, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.66.

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The company reported $1.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.03. Kimberly Clark had a return on equity of 427.79% and a net margin of 12.48%. The firm had revenue of $4.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.61 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.45 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Kimberly Clark will post 7 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a dividend of $1.00 per share. This represents a $4.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 8th. This is a boost from Kimberly Clark’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. Kimberly Clark’s payout ratio is 64.21%.

In other news, insider Kimberly K. Underhill sold 23,158 shares of Kimberly Clark stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.77, for a total transaction of $2,773,633.66. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 31,141 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,729,757.57. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. CNB Bank acquired a new stake in Kimberly Clark in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $105,000. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA raised its position in Kimberly Clark by 2,385.0% in the 3rd quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 954 shares during the last quarter. Truewealth LLC acquired a new stake in Kimberly Clark in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Shamrock Asset Management LLC raised its position in Kimberly Clark by 220.5% in the 4th quarter. Shamrock Asset Management LLC now owns 1,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 763 shares during the last quarter. Finally, MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC acquired a new stake in Kimberly Clark in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.52% of the company’s stock.

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About Kimberly Clark

Kimberly-Clark Corporation is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of a range of products made from natural or synthetic fibers. The Company’s segments include Personal Care, Consumer Tissue, K-C Professional and Corporate & Other. The Company’s Personal Care segment offers various solutions and products, such as disposable diapers, training and youth pants, swimpants, baby wipes, feminine and incontinence care products, and other related products.

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