Today, The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Clorox Co. (CLX) to Sell

Today, The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Clorox Co. (CLX) to Sell
Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Clorox’s first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings marked its second consecutive miss, as results were hurt by currency headwinds and higher manufacturing and logistics costs. These factors, along with unfavorable mix also dented the gross margin in the quarter. Going forward, management expects the tough macroeconomic environment and currency woes to hurt Clorox’s fiscal 2017 performance. Also, the company tweaked its fiscal 2017 earnings view, as it now expects the benefit from its new accounting standard to be lower than anticipated earlier. Nonetheless, Clorox remains keen on improving the demand for its products by enhancing brand value through innovations and stepping up digital marketing. Also, the company is progressing well on its 2020 Strategy that is helping it achieve cost savings and productivity enhancements. Thus, management remains positive about the remainder of fiscal 2017 despite the aforementioned hurdles.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Clorox from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $144.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Clorox from $134.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $134.00 price objective (up from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Clorox from $121.00 to $115.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $127.30.

Shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) traded up 1.51% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $117.22. 448,683 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $15.09 billion, a PE ratio of 23.60 and a beta of 0.36. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $117.63 and its 200 day moving average price is $127.59. Clorox has a one year low of $111.24 and a one year high of $140.47.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.36 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.06. Clorox had a return on equity of 250.82% and a net margin of 11.27%. The business earned $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.32 earnings per share. Clorox’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Clorox will post $5.32 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 10th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 25th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 23rd. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Clorox’s payout ratio is currently 64.26%.

In related news, EVP Laura Stein sold 38,882 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.69, for a total transaction of $5,120,370.58. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 48,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,387,096.69. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jon M. Balousek sold 5,136 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.14, for a total transaction of $673,535.04. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,384 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,017,457.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CLX. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Clorox by 1.7% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 682,421 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,041,000 after buying an additional 11,428 shares during the period. Fulton Breakefield Broenniman LLC increased its stake in Clorox by 0.8% in the second quarter. Fulton Breakefield Broenniman LLC now owns 77,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,783,000 after buying an additional 619 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Clorox by 5.7% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 200,233 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,242,000 after buying an additional 10,868 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC increased its stake in Clorox by 14.3% in the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 196,360 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,174,000 after buying an additional 24,501 shares during the period. Finally, Sabal Trust CO increased its stake in Clorox by 2.9% in the second quarter. Sabal Trust CO now owns 163,636 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,645,000 after buying an additional 4,571 shares during the period. 69.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Clorox

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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