KMB Buys Health Biz, Hits New High

Zacks

In order to provide clinical solutions, Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) has agreed to acquire the anesthesia business of Texas-based Life-Tech, Inc. The anesthesia business will form a part of ON-Q family of products of Kimberly-Clark's Health Care segment. The acquired assets will include needles, catheters and accessories, which are used in peripheral nerve block (:PNB) processes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is a strategic fit for Kimberly-Clark as the company seeks to become a leader in health care offering in the PNB solutions segment. Also, the acquisition will help the company to acquire a leading position in the pain pump market. The acquisition news drove the share price of Kimberly-Clark to a new 52-week high of $99.89 on Apr 2 and eventually closed at $99.76. Year-to-date, the stock has generated a return of approximately 15.5%.

Lately, Kimberly-Clark has been focusing on improving its health care business. In early-February, Kimberly-Clark increased production of face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment products as a measure to check the widespread influenza season across the country. Later in mid-February, Kimberly-Clark launched a CERVICOOL Cooled Radiofrequency System for reducing cervical facet joint pain.

Overall, we are encouraged by the company’s leadership position in several categories, including infection control solutions, surgical solutions, pain management, hygiene solutions and digestive health. Besides health care, Kimberly-Clark holds a market leading position in several other consumer product categories including diapers, paper goods and female personal care. Moreover, Kimberly-Clark focuses on improving its products through innovation in order to remain competitive and drive growth.

Kimberly-Clark currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other consumer staple stocks, which are better positioned and warrant a look include Flower Foods Inc (FLO), Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. (NWL) and Kellogg Co. (K). While Flower Foods holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Newell and Kellogg carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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