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Kimberly-Clark’s earnings fall $36.8 million in quarter

SHARE Kimberly-Clark’s earnings fall $36.8 million in quarter

IRVING, Texas — Kimberly-Clark Corp. said Monday that first-quarter earnings fell short of expectations despite increased prices and sales volume for many of its paper and personal-care products. The company also warned that second-quarter results will be flat.

The maker of Kleenex and Huggies, which has a diaper manufacturing and distribution center in Ogden, posted net income of $433.4 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with $470.2 million, or 86 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $450.9 million, or 84 cents per share, compared to $437.7 million, or 80 cents per share, a year ago. That fell short of the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call, who expected 85 cents per share.

Citing higher energy costs and currency-exchange losses, the company said second-quarter earnings will be similar to the first quarter, which would be below Wall Street's 88 cents-per-share forecast. However, executives expect improvement in the third and fourth quarters.

First quarter sales rose 6.5 percent to $3.61 billion.

The sales increase helped counter higher energy costs that reduced earnings by about 3 cents per share, the Irving-based company said. Selling prices for Kimberly-Clark products increased about 4 percent.

Wayne R. Sanders, chairman and chief executive, said the company would continue to invest heavily in new products, such as its wet toilet paper, and to expand its global diaper business.