Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Colgate has underperformed the broader industry year to date. Though the company posted in-line earnings and topped sales estimates in third-quarter 2017, its margins remained strained primarily due to increased raw material and packaging costs, as well as higher advertising expenses. Further, it anticipates the aforementioned costs to persist and impact margins in 2017. Additionally, the company perked up its costs guidance related to charges arising from the expansion and extension of the Global Growth and Efficiency Program through Dec 31, 2019. This is also likely to put near-term pressure on the results. Moreover, the company forecasts the backdrop to remain challenging going forward, due to uncertain global markets and slowing category growth worldwide. However, the company’s progress on the Global Growth and Efficiency Program along with the additional savings anticipated from the recent expansion of the program, bode well.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive from $84.00 to $83.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday. Jefferies Group LLC cut their price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive from $79.00 to $76.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus set a $73.00 price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. upgraded shares of Colgate-Palmolive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $65.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Colgate-Palmolive has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.73.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) opened at 70.45 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $72.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $73.08. The company has a market capitalization of $62.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.18 and a beta of 0.81. Colgate-Palmolive has a 12-month low of $63.43 and a 12-month high of $77.27.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73. Colgate-Palmolive had a net margin of 15.10% and a return on equity of 2,782.56%. The business had revenue of $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.73 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Colgate-Palmolive will post $2.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CFO Dennis J. Hickey sold 73,872 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.80, for a total transaction of $5,304,009.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 484,985 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $34,821,923. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Patricia Verduin sold 3,833 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.45, for a total transaction of $273,867.85. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 53,173 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,799,210.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 126,705 shares of company stock valued at $9,080,117. Company insiders own 1.02% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 91.6% in the third quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 632,533 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,080,000 after purchasing an additional 302,316 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 3.1% in the third quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 157,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,508,000 after purchasing an additional 4,707 shares in the last quarter. First Merchants Corp increased its holdings in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 80.3% in the third quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 43,567 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,174,000 after purchasing an additional 19,400 shares in the last quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 7.2% in the third quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 22,572 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,644,000 after purchasing an additional 1,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Csenge Advisory Group acquired a new stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive in the third quarter valued at approximately $390,000. 73.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate) is a consumer products company. The Company operates in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care, and Pet Nutrition. The Oral, Personal and Home Care product segment is operated through five geographic segments, which include North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa/Eurasia.

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