Why did Kimberly Clark stock fly high on Friday? (NYSE:KMB)

Kimberly Clark (KMB +8.5%) stock’s jump on Friday was starkly juxtaposed with broader market action, cementing current preferences for sturdy staples names.

Shares of the consumer products company were carried nearly 9% higher shortly before the close of the week’s trading, ebbing only slightly from an intraday high of $140.59 per share.

The pop was promoted by strong earnings results that highlighted the company’s pricing power, a key metric in the current inflationary environment. Despite broad price increases on products from Huggies diapers to Kleenex tissues that raised net selling price 6% in the quarter, organic sales growth proved resilient.

“We delivered double-digit organic sales growth with strong increases across all our segments in the first quarter,” CEO Mike Hsu said in the Friday morning earnings release. “Our growth strategy is working and we’re continuing to invest in our business. Additionally, we continue to take the necessary actions to mitigate macro headwinds and remain committed to improving our margins over time.”

Moving forward, the company expects full year organic sales growth of 4% to 6%, up from prior expectations of 3% to 4%, as well as a 100 to 200 basis point bump in net sales.

“We intend to build momentum as we go through the year, when pricing is more in line with inflation,” CFO Maria Henry told analysts during Friday’s earnings call. “I would expect the second half to be stronger than the run rate that we saw in the first quarter… I don’t think we’re prepared to tell you when we get back to the 2019 levels on margins, but we absolutely expect improvement this year.”

The jump in shares on the day marks the largest one-day leap since March 13, 2020, the day that then-President Donald Trump first declared a national emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more on the hot stocks that defied a broadly down day for the market on Friday.

Kimberly Clark (KMB +8.5%) stock’s jump on Friday was starkly juxtaposed with broader market action, cementing current preferences for sturdy staples names. Shares of the consumer products company were carried nearly 9% higher shortly before the close of the week’s trading, ebbing only slightly from an intraday high of $140.59 per share. The pop was…

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