Clorox Co. (CLX) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Clorox's solid brand portfolio places it well to sustain in the currently challenging environment. The company remains keen on the execution of its 2020 Strategy, which is aimed at boosting growth and overall market share. However, significant global presence exposes Clorox to foreign currency risks, which have been hurting its results for a while now. Going forward, these woes, tough year-over-year comparisons and a challenging macroeconomic environment may pose concerns. Additionally, stiff competition and high trade spending remain threats. Nonetheless, the company’s key strategies, cost saving efforts and efficient pricing bode well, as they are likely to drive margins. These factors also caused the company to provide a robust sales and earnings outlook for fiscal 2017, as management remains confident of its core business strategies. Estimates have been stable ahead of its first quarter earnings release.”
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on CLX. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $131.00 price target (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Clorox in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $134.00 price target (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on Clorox from $134.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $109.00 target price on shares of Clorox in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Atlantic Securities started coverage on Clorox in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $138.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $128.90.
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Clorox (NYSE:CLX) opened at 122.65 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $126.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.88. The stock has a market cap of $15.88 billion, a PE ratio of 24.93 and a beta of 0.29. Clorox has a 12-month low of $119.23 and a 12-month high of $140.47.
Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. Clorox had a return on equity of 296.91% and a net margin of 11.25%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.44 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Clorox will post $5.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 26th will be given a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 24th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.61%. Clorox’s payout ratio is 64.91%.
In related news, COO Nikolaos A. Vlahos sold 925 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.07, for a total value of $123,089.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Dawn C. Willoughby sold 10,617 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.01, for a total value of $1,390,933.17. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 20,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,666,446.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.74% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Picton Mahoney Asset Management purchased a new position in Clorox during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,223,000. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Clorox during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,418,000. M&T Bank Corp raised its position in Clorox by 2.2% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 54,597 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,883,000 after buying an additional 1,172 shares in the last quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its position in Clorox by 9.9% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $490,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Finally, C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new position in Clorox during the first quarter valued at approximately $3,412,000. Institutional investors own 70.21% of the company’s stock.
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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