January 23, 2019 / 1:10 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Kimberly-Clark misses profit estimates, shares fall

(Adds details, compares with estimates)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Kimberly-Clark Corp on Wednesday reported quarterly profit that missed Wall Street estimates, as the Kleenex-tissues maker continued to struggle with rising raw materials costs and a strong U.S. dollar, sending its shares down 2.2 percent.

The company said it paid $215 million more in raw material costs, including $115 million for pulp, a major ingredient in tissues, diapers and sanitary pads.

The higher costs drove net income down 33 percent to $411 million, or $1.18 per share.

For 2019, Kimberly-Clark forecast net sales to decrease 1-2 percent.

"We expect the environment in 2019 will remain challenging, although somewhat better than in 2018," Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu said in a statement.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.60 per share in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 5 cents lower than analysts' estimate, according to IBES Refinitiv.

Net sales for the quarter was $4.57 billion, beating analysts' expectation of $4.45 billion. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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