Zacks Investment Research Lowers Kimberly Clark (KMB) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Kimberly-Clark’s shares have outperformed the industry in the past six months. This is largely attributable to the company’s robust cost-saving efforts. To this end, the company is progressing well with FORCE and 2018 Global Restructuring plans, which generated savings of $75 million and $55 million, respectively, during the fourth quarter of 2018. Alongside fourth-quarter results, the company revealed the K-C Strategy 2022. Further, the company is on track with e-commerce growth and expansion in the developing markets. However, we note that the company has been struggling with high input costs for long. Commodity cost inflation of $215 million, stemming from greater costs of pulp and other raw materials weighed on Kimberly-Clark in the fourth quarter. Management expects input cost inflation for 2019 in the range of $300-$400 million. Additionally, adverse currency movements remain a threat for the company.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price target on Kimberly Clark from $105.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Kimberly Clark from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and set a $129.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, January 18th. Exane BNP Paribas began coverage on Kimberly Clark in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. They set an outperform rating and a $130.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley upgraded Kimberly Clark from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and upped their price target for the stock from $107.00 to $113.00 in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Kimberly Clark from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kimberly Clark presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $114.88.

Shares of KMB stock opened at $123.55 on Thursday. Kimberly Clark has a 12 month low of $97.10 and a 12 month high of $124.76. The company has a market cap of $42.51 billion, a PE ratio of 18.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 51.24, a current ratio of 0.77 and a quick ratio of 0.49.

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The company reported $1.60 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.68 by ($0.08). Kimberly Clark had a return on equity of 1,156.45% and a net margin of 7.63%. The business had revenue of $4.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.47 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.57 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Kimberly Clark will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 8th were paid a $1.03 dividend. This represents a $4.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.33%. This is a positive change from Kimberly Clark’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.00. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 7th. Kimberly Clark’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.33%.

In related news, insider Anthony J. Palmer sold 6,122 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.11, for a total value of $704,703.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of KMB. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Kimberly Clark by 11,155.0% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,310,008 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 4,271,714 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Kimberly Clark in the fourth quarter valued at $337,207,000. Ronna Sue Cohen grew its position in Kimberly Clark by 11,510.0% in the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 1,730,936 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,731,000 after acquiring an additional 1,716,027 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Kimberly Clark by 50.8% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,738,469 shares of the company’s stock valued at $538,482,000 after acquiring an additional 1,595,818 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Kimberly Clark by 1,023.2% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,429,049 shares of the company’s stock valued at $162,826,000 after acquiring an additional 1,301,816 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.34% of the company’s stock.

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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