Kimberly Clark Corp (KMB), And Three Reasons to Pick This Personal Care Stock

Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) is one of those few stocks that doesn’t need any buzz to outperform the market. The stock has gained about 50% and 33% in the last two years and one year, respectively. Besides, this stock has a quality of consistently distributing dividends to shareholders. All in all, it is a solid stock operating in a niche business, and I have good feelings about this.

In this article, I am going to do a fundamental and operational analysis of the company to discuss three major reasons why the company is able to outperform the market in the long run.

Leadership position in its Niche business

Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) operates in the personal care industry and faces competition from the big names like The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). However, because of the niche segment which Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) caters to, it has established itself as a market leader, under some of its products’ categories.

Product categories

Consumer Tissues-

Products offered – facial and bathroom tissue, paper towels. Napkins

Brand name – Cottonelle, Viva, Andrex, Scottex, Hakle

K-C Professional-

Products offered- apparel, wipers, soaps , sanitizers, tissues and towels

Brand name- Kleenex, Scott, WypAll, Kimtech and Jackson Safety

Health Care

Products offered- under pain management and respiratory and digestive health category

Brand names- Kimberly-Clark and ON-Q

Kimberly-Clark Health Care holds leadership position in categories like infection control solutions, surgical solutions, pain management, hygiene solutions and digestive. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries

Continual Expansion and Overhauling of operations

In this section, I will discuss some of the company’s expanding and restructuring activities and how these activities are going to help the company in the long run.

Acquisition: Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) is expanding into emerging markets. It acquired the anesthesia business of Life-Tech, a Texas-based medical device manufacturer. This acquisition will enable Kimberly-Clark to capitalize on its leading position in the ON-Q category.

Supply chain restructuring: Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) has been trying to connect its supply chain to the store shelf, for the past six years. The purpose is to create a demand-driven supply chain that would make and warehouse only the precise amount of inventory needed to replace. Main factor behind the demand-supply mismatch was that the company’s store shipments were based on historical sales forecasts, which were not very accurate predictors of future sales. To synchronize this process, the company is planning to use point-of-sale (POS) data from consumer purchase as the basis for replenishment to retailers.

Cost cutting measures in developing and non-performing markets

In developing markets, the company’s net sales increased by 8 percent. This growth came despite a five percent decrease from unfavorable currency translational effect. Sales volumes increased by nine percent in the regions like Brazil, China, Russia and South Korea. Operating profit for the personal care segment in the developing market increased due to higher net sales and cost savings strategy adopted by the company. Besides, the company took a major decision of restructuring in Europe region to maintain its profitability, amidst falling consumer-demand. The restructuring plan will involve the sale or closure of five manufacturing facilities and the reduction of workforce by approximately 1,300 to 1,500 positions.

Fundamentally stronger over its competitors

Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) announced its quarterly results for the first quarter of 2013, performing ahead of expectations. Q1 EPS of $1.48 is $0.15 above the expectation and revenue of $5.32 billion is $0.04 billion ahead of it. Market responded well to the news and the stock jumped about 5% on the announcement day.

Kimberly-Clark has an edge over its competitors like P&G and Johnson & Johnson, fundamentally. Let’s look into the fundamental-details of each one of them to compare.

Procter & Gamble - like Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) is also on bullish trend in the last one year and gained about 30%. Its EPS stands at 4.41, one of the highest in the industry, just next to Kimberly-Clark’s EPS of 4.42. In terms of fundamentals, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has a P/E ratio of 18.18 while Kimberly-Clark has it at around 22. Price to Book value stands around 3.3 and price to sales at 2.6 for The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG). Though these figures are impressive but with the net earnings showing a growth of -8.82%, in the previous year consolidated results, the fundamentals don’t augur well for P&G stock.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) - price to earnings ratio is around 16, price to book value stands around 3.5 and price to sales at 3.4. Here also, with the net earnings decreasing in the previous quarter and having high P/E value, the stock is not expected to show a bullish trend.

For Kimberly-Clark, EPS increased by 12 percent in the previous year and sales increased by three percent. With these growth and healthy fundamental figures, investors can expect the stock’s price to appreciate further.


Conclusion

Kimberly-Clark is one of the few stocks that are able to maintain their price level for more than a year. This stock is still showing an upward trend and there are reasons to believe that the trend is justified. Since the company modified its strategies in the overseas markets and has strong fundamentals, I feel confidently bullish on this stock for the long run.

The article 3 Reasons to Pick This Personal Care Stock originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Shas Dey.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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