Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.
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.”
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on CLX. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a neutral rating and set a $131.00 target price (up from $125.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a hold rating and set a $134.00 target price (up from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on Clorox from $134.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. B. Riley reissued a neutral rating and set a $109.00 target price on shares of Clorox in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Clorox in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $127.80.
Clorox (NYSE:CLX) opened at 119.03 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $15.41 billion, a PE ratio of 24.19 and a beta of 0.30. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $122.50 and its 200 day moving average price is $129.11. Clorox has a 52 week low of $117.89 and a 52 week high of $140.47.
Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.02. Clorox had a net margin of 11.25% and a return on equity of 296.91%. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. Clorox’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Clorox will post $5.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 26th will be issued a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 24th. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 64.91%.
In other news, COO Dawn C. Willoughby sold 10,617 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.01, for a total transaction of $1,390,933.17. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 20,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,666,446.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Laura Stein sold 38,882 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.69, for a total value of $5,120,370.58. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 48,501 shares in the company, valued at $6,387,096.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.74% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CLX. Bartlett & Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Clorox by 13.8% in the third quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 865 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 105 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG acquired a new position in shares of Clorox during the first quarter worth about $110,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its position in shares of Clorox by 1.0% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 820 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Clorox during the second quarter worth about $114,000. Finally, Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its position in shares of Clorox by 0.6% in the second quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 845 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. 69.91% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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.