Kimberly Clark (KMB -2.12%) stock rose on Wednesday, thanks to the company's release of its first quarter of fiscal 2020 results. These exceeded analyst projections, particularly on the bottom line.
During the quarter, the company reaped $5 billion in net sales, an encouraging 8% improvement from the same period of fiscal 2019. This was due in no small part to consumers loading up on its stock products in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic -- particularly the toilet paper that seemed to vanish from store shelves seconds after it was stocked.
Non-GAAP (adjusted) net profit, meanwhile, shot up by 27% to $734 million ($2.13 per share).
On average, prognosticators tracking the consumer goods giant were expecting $4.8 billion in net sales, and a per-share net profit of $1.96.
In the press release detailing the results, Kimberly Clark said the way it handled the coronavirus-influenced quarter was a key reason for the better-than-anticipated performance. "A combination of increased consumer demand for our products and strong execution by our teams is reflected in our first quarter results," the company wrote.
Similar to many other companies, Kimberly Clark has elected to pull its guidance. It said that it will resume providing it, "when the environment stabilizes and we can provide a clear picture of our expectations."
Kimberly Clark did not address its dividend in the earnings release. A Dividend Aristocrat of long standing, it has raised its payout at least once annually for 48 years running; its latest quarterly dividend of $1.07 per share -- declared in January -- represented a raise of almost 4%.
The company's stock, considered a bellwether for the consumer goods sector, essentially rose in concert with the broader market on Wednesday. It closed the day 2.4% higher.