Colgate-Palmolive (CL) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Colgate lagged the industry in the past three months on a bleak earnings outlook for 2019. The company expects strong sales growth in 2019 backed by accelerated investments in brands, higher pricing and strong innovation. However, earnings are likely to be soft owing higher raw material costs, increase in tax rate, and uncertainties in the global markets and currency rates. Colgate reported top and bottom line beat in fourth-quarter 2018, retaining its meet or beat earnings track record. Meanwhile, earnings and sales dipped year over year marred by unfavorable currency rates. Additionally, the company continued its soft margins trend, which is likely to persist in 2019. Nonetheless, favorable pricing aided organic sales growth in the fourth quarter, which should sustain in 2019. Furthermore, its innovation efforts marked by the re-launch of Colgate Total and Hill’s Science Diet, as well as expansion of the naturals range, remain impressive.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on CL. UBS Group upped their price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Citigroup set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Colgate-Palmolive and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. BNP Paribas raised shares of Colgate-Palmolive from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $56.00 to $67.00 in a research report on Monday, February 11th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. They set an underperform rating on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reissued a hold rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $65.73.

NYSE:CL opened at $69.35 on Monday. Colgate-Palmolive has a 52 week low of $57.41 and a 52 week high of $70.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 32.25, a current ratio of 1.14 and a quick ratio of 0.76. The firm has a market cap of $59.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.35, a PEG ratio of 4.51 and a beta of 0.79.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 25th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.01. Colgate-Palmolive had a net margin of 15.44% and a return on equity of 25,268.29%. The company had revenue of $3.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.78 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.75 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Colgate-Palmolive will post 2.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 19th will be given a dividend of $0.43 per share. This is an increase from Colgate-Palmolive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 17th. Colgate-Palmolive’s payout ratio is presently 56.57%.

In other news, CEO Ian M. Cook sold 22,634 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.31, for a total value of $1,500,860.54. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,162,793 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $77,104,803.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Ian M. Cook sold 17,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.61, for a total transaction of $1,217,827.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,111,293 shares in the company, valued at $76,245,812.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 103,200 shares of company stock worth $6,900,449. Insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CL. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive in the 4th quarter worth about $488,436,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Colgate-Palmolive by 13.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 60,648,605 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,609,804,000 after purchasing an additional 7,236,342 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Colgate-Palmolive by 5,779.5% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 5,625,533 shares of the company’s stock valued at $95,000 after purchasing an additional 5,529,852 shares during the last quarter. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Colgate-Palmolive during the 4th quarter valued at about $71,576,000. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its position in Colgate-Palmolive by 405.4% during the 4th quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 1,283,928 shares of the company’s stock valued at $76,419,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029,873 shares during the last quarter. 76.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Colgate-Palmolive Company Profile

Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells consumer products worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Oral, Personal and Home Care; and Pet Nutrition. It offers oral care products, including toothpastes, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes, as well as pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; and personal care products, such as liquid hand soaps, bar soaps, shower gels, deodorants and antiperspirants, skin care products, and shampoos and conditioners.

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