Kimberly-Clark (KMB) reported strong third-quarter sales and earnings before Tuesday’s open. Compared with Q3 2012, net income jumped 6% to $546 million. Adjusted earnings weighed in at $1.44 per share, which topped the $1.40 consensus estimate by 3%. Over the same period, net sales ticked up from $5.25 billion to $5.26 billion. Analysts forecast sales of $5.23 billion, so Kimberly-Clark also posted a modest sales surprise.
Stripping the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign exchange rates, organic sales rose 5% over last year. While Kimberly-Clark lost some sales by exiting much of its personal care business in Europe, the company benefited from sales increases in Consumer Tissue, K-C Professional and Health Care segments. The company also lifted its 2013 full-year earnings outlook to a range of $5.65 to $5.75 per share. Earlier, the company had forecast earnings in a range of $5.60 to $5.75 per share.
I currently have KMB down as a hold because the stock did get caught up in some of the general choppiness hitting high-yield stocks this fall. Even so, my hope is that these earnings results help boost the stock’s Quantitative and Fundamental Grades. These strong quarterly results, compounded with a weak dollar that will boost the company’s results going forward, should help lift KMB’s ratings for sales growth, operating margin growth, earnings growth and earnings surprises.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced record earnings performance for the third quarter on Thursday. Last quarter, the company benefitted from a drop in fuel costs and increased fuel efficiency. This combined with higher fares and more tickets sold, drove nearly a 150% year-on-year jump in adjusted earnings.
Excluding special items, adjusted earnings weighed in at $241 million, or 34 cents per share. Analysts had forecast earnings of 33 cents per share so Southwest posted a 3% earnings surprise. Meanwhile, total operating revenues improved nearly 6% to $4.545 billion. This also topped the $4.53 billion Street view.
LUV shares rose after the announcement and given that the company plans to fully integrate AirTran into its operations by the end of 2014, I expect more strong earnings announcements in the following quarters.
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) may have been the last Blue Chip Growth company to report earnings last week, but it certainly wasn’t least. In the third quarter, Sherwin-Williams saw increased sales at its namesake paint stores. The company also reported increased net sales from recent acquisitions integrated into its paint stores, consumer and global finishes segments.
Net income advanced 12% year-over-year to $262.97 million; adjusted earnings came in at $2.68 per share. This beat the $2.62 consensus estimate by 2%. Consolidated net sales climbed 10% to $2.85 billion, also topping the $2.78 billion consensus estimate.
For the fourth quarter, management expects between 5% to 7% consolidated sales growth and between $1.29 to $1.39 EPS. For 2013, Sherwin-Williams expects net sales growth in the mid-single-digits and earnings in the range of $7.00 to $7.30 per share.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
In the third quarter, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) saw increased demand for its diagnostic devices and its analytical technologies—particularly its mass spectrometry systems—from customers in the life sciences and applied markets. This drove solid sales and earnings growth for the quarter.
Compared with the same quarter last year, net profit advanced 9% to $317.6 million, or 86 cents per share. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings came in at $1.30 per share, besting the consensus estimate by 2 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenue climbed 3% year-on-year to $3.19 billion. With the analyst community calling for $3.17 billion in sales, Thermo Fisher posted a modest sales surprise.
Thermo Fisher lifted up the lower end of its 2013 sales and earnings forecasts. The company now expects adjusted earnings in the range of $5.31 to $5.39 per share and between $12.87 billion and $12.95 billion in sales.