Profits rise for Kimberly-Clark

DALLAS – Tissue and diaper giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. said Monday that profits rose 12 percent in the July-September period as sales increased, especially in developing markets.

Kimberly-Clark said it earned $364 million, or 79 cents per share, in the quarter compared with $325 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company, which operates a pulp mill and a tissue mill in Everett, said that excluding $91 million in after-tax charges for restructuring costs, it would have earned 99 cents per share.

Analysts, who typically exclude such charges, had expected the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers to earn 98 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose 5.2 percent, to $4.21 billion from $4 billion a year ago and roughly in line with analysts’ forecast of $4.2 billion.

In morning trading, Kimberly-Clark shares dropped $1.31, or nearly 2 percent, to $66.11 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company was helped by an easing in oil prices but said it saw no reduction in the expense of packaging and polymer resins used in many of its products, and pulp costs rose.

Sales of wipes and products for children and incontinent adults improved, but the amount of consumer tissue sold in North America and Europe declined, perhaps because of price increases, the company said.

The restructuring charges, which the company expects will continue through 2008, covered items such as severance payments as it closes or consolidates 24 manufacturing facilities.

Kimberly-Clark, based in the Dallas suburb of Irving, said it expected to earn $1 to $1.02 per share in the fourth quarter and $3.87 to $3.89 per share for all of 2006.

Analysts were already looking for $1.02 per share in the fourth quarter and $3.88 per share for the year, according to Thomson Financial.

For the first nine months of the year, Kimberly-Clark earned $1 billion, or $2.21 a share, down from $1.2 billion, or $2.49 a share, in 2005. Sales were up 4.6 percent, to $12.44 billion compared to $11.89 billion a year ago.

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