Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (NYSE:CHD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $56.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.59% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight continued with its better-than-expected performance in first-quarter 2017 as well. Both earnings per share and sales rose 20.9% and 3.3% year over year, respectively in the quarter. Productivity initiatives and the impact of acquisition of higher margin business led to overall margin expansion. We note that shares of Church & Dwight have outpaced the sector’s year-to-date growth. Going ahead, the company remains optimistic backed by its robust brand portfolio, launch of innovative products, aggressive productivity programs and cost containment efforts. Moreover, the recent buyouts of Agro BioSciences, VIVISCAL, and ANUSOL and RECTINOL brands are expected to add strength to the company’s portfolio. However, it expects a competitive environment due to new product introductions by competitors and persistent pricing pressure. Nonetheless, estimates have been stable in the last seven days.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on CHD. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Church & Dwight Co. in a report on Friday, May 5th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 price objective (up from $54.00) on shares of Church & Dwight Co. in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Morgan Stanley lowered Church & Dwight Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on Church & Dwight Co. in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $53.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Barclays PLC set a $47.00 price objective on Church & Dwight Co. and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, February 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.74.

Analyst Recommendations for Church & Dwight Co. (NYSE:CHD)

Shares of Church & Dwight Co. (NYSE:CHD) opened at 49.74 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $50.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.40 billion, a PE ratio of 27.18 and a beta of 0.43. Church & Dwight Co. has a 12-month low of $42.56 and a 12-month high of $52.28.

Church & Dwight Co. (NYSE:CHD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.06. Church & Dwight Co. had a return on equity of 23.11% and a net margin of 13.14%. The business had revenue of $877.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $869.06 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.43 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Church & Dwight Co. will post $1.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 16th will be paid a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 12th. Church & Dwight Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.69%.

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In other news, Director Bradley C. Irwin sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.65, for a total value of $993,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 61,570 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,056,950.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Paul A. Siracusa sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.02, for a total transaction of $1,250,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 26,279 shares in the company, valued at $1,314,475.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 62,400 shares of company stock worth $3,110,542 over the last ninety days. 2.17% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CHD. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in Church & Dwight Co. by 83.1% in the third quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 134,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,440,000 after buying an additional 61,000 shares during the last quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN increased its position in Church & Dwight Co. by 84.1% in the third quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN now owns 147,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,063,000 after buying an additional 67,337 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in Church & Dwight Co. by 78.8% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,922,875 shares of the company’s stock valued at $92,144,000 after buying an additional 847,307 shares during the last quarter. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA increased its position in Church & Dwight Co. by 95.1% in the third quarter. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA now owns 2,511,012 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,327,000 after buying an additional 1,223,764 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Physicians Financial Services Inc. increased its position in Church & Dwight Co. by 100.0% in the third quarter. Physicians Financial Services Inc. now owns 5,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $273,000 after buying an additional 2,850 shares during the last quarter. 78.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Church & Dwight Co.

Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products Division (SPD). The Company also sells specialty products to industrial customers and distributors.

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