Friday, May 23, 2008

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) Dividend Analysis

Kimberly-Clark Corporation engages in the manufacture and marketing of health and hygiene products worldwide. It operates in four segments: Personal Care, Consumer Tissue, K-C Professional & Other, and Health Care.
Kimberly-Clark is a dividend aristocrat as well as a component in S&P 500 index. It has been increasing its dividends for the past 36 consecutive years. KMB has delivered an average total return of 6.60 % annually to its loyal shareholders. over the past 10 years.

At the same time the company has managed to deliver a 7.50 % average annual increase in its EPS since 1998. The company also managed to buy back 2.60% of its outstanding stock annually on average each year since 1999.
The ROE ratio was declining from its 1999 high of almost 33% to the 25% lows in 2003 and 2006 before shooting back up above 33% in 2007.

Annual dividend payments have increased over the past 10 years by an average of 8.30% annually, which is slightly above the growth in EPS. An 8% growth in dividends translates into the dividend payment doubling every 9 years. If we look at historical data, going as far back as 1988, KMB has indeed managed to double its quarterly dividend payments every nine and a half years on average.

If we invested $100,000 in KMB on December 31, 1997 we would have bought 2122 shares. Your first quarterly check would have been $530.50 in March 1998. If you kept reinvesting the dividends though instead of spending them, your quarterly dividend payment would have risen to $1,409 by December 2007. For a period of 10 years, the quarterly dividend has increased by 112 %. If you reinvested it though, your quarterly dividend income would have increased by 167.50%.

The dividend payout has remained below 50% for the majority of the past 10 years except for the past 3 years. A lower payout is always a plus, since it leaves room for consistent dividend growth minimizing the impact of short-term fluctuations in earnings.

I think that KMB is attractively valued with its low price/earnings multiple of 15, and DPR of 51%. The company also pays an above average yield of 3.60%.

Disclosure: I own shares of KMB

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