Kimberly-Clark Corp. stock inched up 0.8% in Thursday premarket trading after the consumer products company reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its 2020 dividend. Kimberly-Clark brands include Kleenex tissues, Huggies diapers, and Cottonelle bathroom products. Net income for the quarter totaled $547 million, or $1.59 per share, up from $411 million, or $1.18 per share, last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.71, ahead of the $1.70 FactSet consensus. Sales of $4.58 billion was up from $4.57 billion last year and beat the $4.54 FactSet outlook. For 2020, Kimberly-Clark expects a net sales increase of 1% and adjusted EPS of $7.10 to $7.35. FactSet forecasts sales of $18.58 billion, up from $18.45 billion in 2019, implying a 0.7% increase, and EPS of $7.26. For 2020, Kimberly-Clark raised its dividend by 3.9% to $1.07 per share. The first dividend will be payable on April 2, 2020 to shareholders of record as of March 6, 2020. Kimberly-Clark stock has rallied 28.8% over the last year, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 25.9% for the period.
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