Net sales for its first three-month reporting period increased almost 8%, to just less than $4.4 billion. Net income on a diluted basis powered up 63%, to $0.98 per stub. But on an adjusted outlook, accounting for various charges relating to restructuring protocols, earnings actually jumped 11% to $1.03 per diluted share.
Sure, 11% isn't as great as 63%. Nonetheless, Kimberly-Clark still managed to deliver double-digit earnings growth, and it continued to keep its top line expanding.
The company's restructuring seems to be working, as Kimberly-Clark benefits from the FORCE. While that might sound like something out of a George Lucas movie, it actually stands for Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere. As long as the initiative helps to keep operating profits healthy, I can't argue with its goofy title.
In less encouraging news, operational cash flow only increased by about a single percentage point. That flat performance might not be too inspiring, but the cash-flow data indicates that it still covered both dividend payments and capital expenditures. Kimberly-Clark's balance sheet seems relatively cool; cash and equivalents did dip a bit, but long-term debt remained stable, and accounts receivable decreased slightly.
It may not be the strongest firm in the land, but I think management is doing well in keeping things under control, considering the inflationary pressures plaguing all consumer-product sellers. Procter & Gamble
I've saved the best part for last. A couple of months ago, management gave shareholders an 8% dividend hike. The quarterly payment now stands at $0.53. With the stock still trading at a yield of roughly 3%, I'd say that Kimberly-Clark is a great long-term idea for dividend fans who love to buy, hold, and reinvest.
Further Foolishness with Kimberly-Clark:
- Kimberly-Clark: A Sturdy Investment
- Kimberly-Clark Won't Need Tissues This Time: Fool by Numbers
- Gone in 30 Seconds: Kleenex
- Use the FORCE, Kimberly-Clark
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 14,475 out of 27,737 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. Colgate-Palmolive is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.