Shares of Kimberly-Clark Corp. sank 4.5% in premarket trading Friday, after the consumer products company, which brands include Kleenex, Huggies, Scott and Depend, reported first-quarter profit and sales that fell below expectations, and lowered its full-year outlook. “First quarter comparisons were impacted by COVID-19 related stock up in the year-ago period, consumer tissue category softness and commodity inflation,” said Chief Executive Mike Hsu. “We also experienced temporary supply chain disruptions related to severe weather conditions in the southern part of the United States.” Net income fell to $584 million, or $1.72 a share, form $660 million, or $1.92 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share declined to $1.80 from $2.13, missing the FactSet consensus of $1.93. Sales were down 5% to $4.74 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $4.98 billion, as personal care sales declined 2%, consumer tissue sales dropped 12% and K-C Professional sales fell 11%. Volumes declined 10%, while net selling prices edged up 1%. For 2021, the company cut its adjusted EPS guidance range to $7.30 from $7.55 from $7.75 to $8.00, and lowered its organic sales growth outlook to flat to positive 1% from growth of 1% to 2%. The stock has gained 4.1% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has edged up 3.4% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.1%.
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