Target This Dividend Aristocrat Before the New Year

Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) is a Texas-based personal care company that owns product lines like Huggies, Depend, Kotex, and Pull-Ups, among others. Shares have climbed 27% in 2019 as of close on October 4. The company is expected to release its third-quarter 2019 results later this month.

In the second quarter, the company reported net sales of $4.6 billion, which were flat from the prior year. Fortunately, organic sales saw a 5% increase while overall numbers were hurt by fluctuating foreign exchange rates. Diluted net income per share rose to $1.40 in Q2 2019 compared to $1.30 in Q2 2018.

Kimberly Clark increased its full-year guidance for organic sales growth to 3% compared to its original projection of 2%. It also bumped up its adjusted earnings per share forecast to between $6.65 and $6.80.

The company has achieved dividend-growth for an impressive 46 consecutive years. This qualifies it as a dividend aristocrat, but it is well on its way to being crowned a dividend king. A dividend king is a stock that has achieved at least 50 consecutive years of dividend growth.

Kimberly Clark last paid out a quarterly dividend of $1.03 per share. This represents a 2.9% yield. The stock is pricey as it is near 52-week highs and possesses a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.

Value investors may want to wait for a better entry point, but Kimberly Clark is still a great long-term option for income investors. It is a consumer defensive in a turbulent market period and boasts a long history of dividend growth.