Kimberly-Clark plans to buy back up to 40M shares, or spend $5 billion on repurchases

Consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark said Thursday it will buy back up to 40 million shares of its stock, or spend $5 billion buying the stock.

Kimberly-Clark, the company Kleenex and Huggies, is trading at all-time highs. The stock is up 14 percent in 2014 and peaked at $114.46 Thursday.

At that price, the company would spend $4.58 billion buying back 40 million shares. Kimberly-Clark Corp. had 372.5 million shares on the market as of Oct. 14.

The Dallas company already had a buyback program of 50 million shares that began in January 2011. It expects to complete those purchases in the first quarter of 2015.

Repurchasing shares can help support a company's stock price and earnings per share.

Shares of the Dallas company rose 69 cents to close at $114.07 Thursday.