The company, which competes against larger rival Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) in categories such as diapers and paper products, said it cut $85 million in costs during the quarter.
Shares of the company rose 2.6 percent to $104 in trading before the market opened.
Excluding items such as restructuring costs, Kimberly-Clark earned $1.48 a share, well ahead of an average forecast by analysts of $1.34, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net income rose to $531 million, or $1.36 a share, from $468 million, or $1.18 a share, a year earlier.
Sales rose 1.5 percent to $5.32 billion, topping analysts' forecast of $5.28 billion.
In personal care, the company's largest segment with products such as Huggies diapers, North American sales were flat as a 1 percent price increase offset lower sales volumes. Sales of these products rose 4 percent in international markets, helped by a 2 percent price increase and growth in countries such as China, Russia and South Korea.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB) said it expected to post 2013 earnings a share of $5.60 to $5.75, excluding items, versus its prior target of $5.50 to $5.65. The analysts' average forecast is $5.59.
While the company has been cutting some expenses, materials and distribution costs rose in the quarter. Input costs were up $35 million from a year earlier, with increases of $15 million for fiber, $10 million for other raw materials and $10 million for distribution, it said.