Clorox (CLX) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday, January 8th. They currently have $163.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Clorox has outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company is gaining from the 2020 Strategy, which is aimed at bolstering growth for the improvement of categories and overall market share. The company delivered a solid start to fiscal 2018 as both first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings and sales topped estimates and improved year over year. Earnings marked the fourth straight quarterly beat, while sales surpassed estimates for the second consecutive quarter. Earnings primarily gained from solid sales and gross margin expansion, while sales was driven by growth across the United Sates and International businesses, alongside rise in volumes. Despite a strong start to fiscal 2018, the company cut its view for the fiscal due to hurricane-related impacts and the divestiture of Aplicare business. Further, inflation and high commodity and logistics costs may dent gross margin.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Clorox in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. They issued a hold rating and a $142.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating on shares of Clorox in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Clorox in a research report on Sunday, October 8th. Finally, Consumer Edge upgraded shares of Clorox from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $134.19.

Shares of Clorox (CLX) opened at $130.91 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $16,879.40, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.31. Clorox has a 52 week low of $121.51 and a 52 week high of $150.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.02, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 0.77.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.43 billion. Clorox had a net margin of 11.84% and a return on equity of 161.59%. Clorox’s revenue for the quarter was up .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Clorox will post 6.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 23rd. Clorox’s payout ratio is currently 55.45%.

In other news, SVP Michael R. Costello sold 10,574 shares of Clorox stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.01, for a total value of $1,438,169.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 34,867 shares in the company, valued at $4,742,260.67. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 20,051 shares of Clorox stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.46, for a total transaction of $2,615,853.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,896 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,421,492.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CLX. Huntington National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Clorox by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 10,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,608,000 after acquiring an additional 421 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado lifted its holdings in shares of Clorox by 3.5% in the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 24,081 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,582,000 after acquiring an additional 823 shares during the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Clorox in the 4th quarter worth approximately $424,000. Trust Co. of Vermont lifted its holdings in shares of Clorox by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 34,119 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,075,000 after acquiring an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Clorox in the 4th quarter worth approximately $360,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.20% of the company’s stock.

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Clorox Company Profile

The Clorox Company is a manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products. The Company sells its products primarily through mass retail outlets, e-commerce channels, wholesale distributors and medical supply distributors. The Company operates through four segments: Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle and International.

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