Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) will raise its quarterly dividend by 6.5 percent to $1.14 per share in 2021. This is the biggest dividend hike announced by the company since 2013 and comes after a 3.9 percent increase to $1.07 per share announced in the first quarter of 2020. The Dividend Aristocrat has now raised its dividend 49 consecutive years.
The first dividend will be payable on April 5, 2021 to stockholders of record on March 5, 2021. A new annualized dividend rate of $4.56 per share for KMB yields 3.3% at a stock price of $136.51.
In the press release dated January 25, 2021 Kimberly-Clark announces year-end 2020 results and the new dividend hike, stating: The company's Board of Directors has approved a 6.5 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, which is the 49th consecutive annual increase in the dividend. The Board also authorized a new $5 billion share repurchase program which supplements the current $5 billion authorization that is expected to be completed later in 2021. These actions reflect the company's strong cash flow and growth prospects along with an ongoing commitment to return cash to shareholders.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu said, "In 2020, we grew organic sales 6 percent, with healthy underlying performance and increased demand because of COVID-19. We also significantly increased brand investments and improved our market share positions. In addition, we achieved $575 million of cost savings and returned $2.15 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Finally, we grew adjusted earnings per share 12 percent, well above our medium-term objective. I'm extremely proud of what our teams accomplished while staying relentlessly focused on employee health and safety and meeting the needs of our consumers during this unprecedented time period."
Kimberly-Clark Corporation will now pay its shareholders an estimated $1.55 billion in dividends annually. This new dividend hike just announced is the biggest since 2013, when the company raised its payment by 9.5 percent. Because of this the average dividend growth in the last five years jumps to 4.4 percent annually.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a manufacturer of products mostly made from natural or synthetic fibers using advanced technologies in fibers, nonwovens and absorbency. The company's operating segments are: Personal Care, Consumer Tissue and K-C Professional. The company's brands include Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Viva and WypAll. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, orginally established in 1872, was incorporated in Delaware in 1928.