Zacks Investment Research Lowers Kimberly Clark (KMB) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors 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.”

KMB has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays set a $119.00 price target on Kimberly Clark and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. ValuEngine downgraded Kimberly Clark from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an in-line rating on shares of Kimberly Clark in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. TheStreet downgraded Kimberly Clark from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. Finally, Citigroup set a $94.00 price target on Kimberly Clark and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $113.64.

Shares of Kimberly Clark opened at $104.53 on Tuesday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. The firm has a market cap of $36.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.67. Kimberly Clark has a one year low of $97.10 and a one year high of $131.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 10.96, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.80.

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last issued its earnings results on Monday, April 23rd. The company reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.71. The company had revenue of $4.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. Kimberly Clark had a net margin of 9.77% and a return on equity of 398.41%. The business’s revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.57 EPS. analysts forecast that Kimberly Clark will post 6.86 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, June 8th will be paid a $1.00 dividend. This represents a $4.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 7th. Kimberly Clark’s payout ratio is 64.21%.

In other news, SVP Jeffrey P. Melucci sold 330 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.97, for a total transaction of $34,970.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 5,132 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $543,838.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert W. Decherd acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 24th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $100.05 per share, with a total value of $200,100.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 45,444 shares in the company, valued at $4,546,672.20. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. CNB Bank acquired a new position in shares of Kimberly Clark during the 4th quarter valued at about $105,000. Gables Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter valued at about $115,000. Centerpoint Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Kimberly Clark by 999.0% during the 1st quarter. Centerpoint Advisors LLC now owns 1,099 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after acquiring an additional 999 shares during the last quarter. Truewealth LLC acquired a new position in shares of Kimberly Clark during the 4th quarter valued at about $123,000. Finally, Lee Financial Co increased its stake in shares of Kimberly Clark by 313.8% during the 1st quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 1,167 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after acquiring an additional 885 shares during the last quarter. 73.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Kimberly Clark Company Profile

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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