Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Kimberly-Clark Tumbles After Sales Miss Analysts' Estimates

Kimberly-Clark Corp. suffered its biggest stock decline in eight months after missing analysts’ sales estimates, with currency fluctuations dealing another blow to the global consumer-products company.

Revenue fell 4.6 percent to $4.48 billion in the first quarter, the Dallas-based company said in a statement Friday. Analysts had projected $4.54 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The seller of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers gets about half of its revenue outside North America, so the strong U.S. dollar has taken a toll on the company. Changes in currency exchange rates reduced sales by 7 percent in the first quarter, Kimberly-Clark said. The company is looking to product development and other projects to help bolster growth this year.

“Compared to the first quarter, we expect more benefits from targeted growth initiatives, product innovations and improved net realized revenue,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Falk said in the statement.

The report sent the shares down as much as 6 percent to $123.78 in New York, the largest drop since Aug. 24. The stock had been up 3.5 percent this year before Friday.

Excluding some items, earnings amounted to $1.53 a share in the first quarter. That topped the $1.51 predicted by analysts. Excluding currency effects, the company expects sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent this year.

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