Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Kimberly-Clark has outpaced the industry in the past three months, which can be attributable to the company’s robust cost-saving efforts. To this end, the company is progressing well with its FORCE and 2018 Global Restructuring plans, which is also evident from management’s enhanced savings target. Also, the company’s focus on its three core strategies, which helped drive sales growth in second-quarter 2018, bodes well. However, the company continues to battle higher input costs. Commodity cost inflation of $200 million, stemming from greater costs of pulp and other raw materials, hurt Kimberly-Clark in the second quarter and compelled management to raise its commodity-inflation view to a range of $675-$775 million for 2018. This, along with expectations of currency woes led to a lowered sales and earnings outlook. Apart from this, Kimberly-Clark also remains troubled by lower net selling prices.”

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on Kimberly Clark from $104.00 to $86.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. UBS Group initiated coverage on Kimberly Clark in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. They issued a sell rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co cut their target price on Kimberly Clark from $117.00 to $108.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. ValuEngine raised Kimberly Clark from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an in-line rating on shares of Kimberly Clark in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $109.93.

Shares of KMB traded down $1.12 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $110.09. 2,372,711 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,777,831. Kimberly Clark has a 1 year low of $97.10 and a 1 year high of $124.15. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 32.28. The firm has a market cap of $38.66 billion, a PE ratio of 17.67, a P/E/G ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.72.

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.02. Kimberly Clark had a return on equity of 432.18% and a net margin of 9.33%. The firm had revenue of $4.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.49 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Kimberly Clark will post 6.69 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 7th will be given a dividend of $1.00 per share. This represents a $4.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 6th. Kimberly Clark’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.21%.

In other Kimberly Clark news, insider Aaron Powell sold 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.96, for a total transaction of $116,556.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,117 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $118,357.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jeffrey P. Melucci sold 330 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.97, for a total value of $34,970.10. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,132 shares in the company, valued at $543,838.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 4,475 shares of company stock worth $473,169 over the last ninety days. 0.64% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Kimberly Clark by 1,426.9% during the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 1,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after acquiring an additional 956 shares in the last quarter. Gables Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth about $115,000. Centerpoint Advisors LLC boosted 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 worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 999 shares in the last quarter. Lee Financial Co boosted 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 worth $128,000 after acquiring an additional 885 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Kimberly Clark during the 1st quarter worth about $152,000. 74.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Kimberly Clark

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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