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Kimberly-Clark (KMB) Queued for Q1 Earnings: Factors to Note

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Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB - Free Report) is likely to witness year-over-year top and bottom-line declines, when it reports first-quarter 2021 numbers on Apr 23. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $4,941 million, which suggests a drop of 1.4% from the figure reported in the prior-year quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the bottom line has declined 2% in the past 30 days to $1.92 per share, which indicates a decrease of 9.9% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure. Notably, the bottom line outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by almost 5% in the last reported quarter, and the company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.4%, on average.

KimberlyClark Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

KimberlyClark Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

KimberlyClark Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | KimberlyClark Corporation Quote

Key Factors to Note

Kimberly-Clark’s K-C Professional segment sales have been declining year over year for a while now due to hurdles related to coronavirus. In fourth-quarter 2020, sales in the segment fell 9% to $742 million, with volumes bearing the brunt of reduced away-from-home demand and tough business conditions after the pandemic.

Apart from these, the company has been encountering high manufacturing costs, including coronavirus-related expenses, for the past few quarters. Also, increased advertising expenses and general and administrative costs have been weighing on profits. In the fourth quarter of 2020, adjusted operating profit came in at $767 million, down from $826 million in the year-ago quarter, thanks to a rise in input costs (to the tune of $40 million) as well as other manufacturing costs, including coronavirus-related expenses.

On its fourth-quarter earnings call, management said that it expects a more difficult environment in 2021, wherein it projects commodity cost inflation of $450-$600 million. The company expects cost increases in most areas, such as resins, pulp and recycled fiber, superabsorbent, and distribution expenses. These factors raise concerns over the quarter under review. That being said, the company’s commitment to reduce costs through its 2018 Global Restructuring Program and the Focus on Reducing Costs Everywhere or the FORCE Program is noteworthy. Additionally, a focus on the three key strategic growth pillars bodes well. These include improving its core business in the developed markets, speeding up growth in the Personal Care segment in developing and emerging markets and enhancing digital and e-commerce capacities.

Moreover, Kimberly-Clark’s Consumer Tissue unit has been doing well, thanks to higher demand stemming from greater work-from-home trends amid the pandemic. Also, the company’s solid innovation and contribution from buyouts are worth noting. Incidentally, Kimberly-Clark’s fourth-quarter sales received a 2% contribution from the Softex Indonesia buyout, which was concluded in October 2020. Sales in the Personal Care segment were aided by 3% from Softex Indonesia.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Kimberly-Clark this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Kimberly-Clark currently has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +0.13%.

Other Stocks With Favorable Combinations

Here are some other companies you may want to consider, as our model shows that these too have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season.

Medifast (MED - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +6.25% and a Zacks Rank #3, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Coty (COTY - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +16.67% and a Zacks Rank #3, at present.

Boston Beer (SAM - Free Report) currently has an Earnings ESP of +17.87% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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