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Kimberly-Clark beats Q3 adjusted EPS estimates, raises FY'19 guidance

Kimberly-Clark Corp.. reported third-quarter adjusted EPS and net income on Oct. 22 that beat analysts' expectations as the company raised its organic sales and EPS outlook for the full year.

The company's adjusted diluted EPS of $1.84 for the three months ended Sept. 30 surpassed the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.79.

Kimberly-Clark's adjusted net income excluding exceptions was $638 million, beating the Market Intelligence estimate for net income excluded exceptions of $615.1 million.

The Texas-based consumer products company raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to $6.75 to $6.90 from a previous range of between $6.65 and $6.80. Kimberly-Clark is now targeting full-year 2019 organic sales growth of 3% to 4% versus a previous estimate of 3% growth.

The company expects its 2018 global restructuring program to generate annual pre-tax cost savings of $500 million to $550 million by the end of 2021.

Net sales for the third quarter reached $4.64 billion, up 1% from the year-ago period, just below analysts' expectations of $4.66 billion, according to Market Intelligence.

Kimberly-Clark CEO Mike Hsu said the company saw strong improvements in organic sales profit margins and EPS in the third quarter and continued to launch innovations, pursue growth priorities and increase investments in brands. The company also generated $95 million in cost savings and returned $570 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

"I'm encouraged by the progress we're making this year while we invest more for longer-term success," Hsu said.

Kimberly-Clark repurchased 1.6 million shares during the third quarter for $214 million, executives said. The company expects full-year repurchases of $800 million, in line with the company's target range of $600 million to $900 million.

Shares of Kimberly-Clark were down 1% to $137.75 in premarket trading Oct. 22. The company reported results before U.S. markets opened.