Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $120.00 target price on the stock.
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.”
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on KMB. Citigroup set a $112.00 price target on Kimberly Clark and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Deutsche Bank started coverage on Kimberly Clark in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a hold rating and a $121.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Barclays set a $119.00 price target on Kimberly Clark and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Kimberly Clark presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $124.56.
Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The company reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $4.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.61 billion. Kimberly Clark had a return on equity of 427.79% and a net margin of 12.48%. The company’s revenue was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.45 EPS. analysts forecast that Kimberly Clark will post 7 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th were paid a $1.00 dividend. This represents a $4.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. This is a positive change from Kimberly Clark’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 8th. Kimberly Clark’s dividend payout ratio is 64.21%.
In other news, insider Kimberly K. Underhill sold 23,158 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.77, for a total value of $2,773,633.66. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly 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. Corporate insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of KMB. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Kimberly Clark by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 118,397 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,286,000 after buying an additional 17,636 shares in the last quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Kimberly Clark by 42.4% in the 2nd quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,847 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,000 after buying an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Kimberly Clark in the 2nd quarter worth $1,941,000. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Kimberly Clark by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,277 shares of the company’s stock worth $552,000 after buying an additional 106 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Kimberly Clark by 33.6% in the 2nd quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 48,114 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,227,000 after buying an additional 12,089 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.52% of the company’s stock.
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Kimberly Clark Company Profile
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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