WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB) reported that fourth-quarter profit attributable to company decreased to $267 million or $0.68 per share from $401 million or $1.01 per share last year. The company incurred higher marketing, research and general expenses for the quarter; an increase of 11.4 percent over last year.
Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.37 compared to $1.28 in the prior year. The improvement in adjusted profit was driven by organic sales growth and cost savings, partially offset by increased marketing, research and general spending and a higher level of expense in other income and expense, net.
On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit of $1.35 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net sales were $5.31 billion compared to $5.18 billion last year. Organic sales rose 5 percent, highlighted by a 9 percent increase in K-C International. Organic sales exclude the impact of changes in foreign currency rates and lost sales as a result of pulp and tissue restructuring actions. Analysts expected the company to report revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter.
The company expects adjusted earnings per share in 2013 to be $5.50 to $5.65, up 5 to 8 percent from 2012. Adjusted earnings per share in 2013 exclude costs for the European strategic changes. Net sales are expected to increase up to 3 percent. Organic sales are expected to grow 3 to 5 percent. Analysts expect the company to report 2013 profit per share of $5.58.
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