The Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Clorox Co. (CLX) to Buy

The Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Clorox Co. (CLX) to Buy

Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $137.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 11.82% from the company’s current price.

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.”

CLX has been the subject of several other research reports. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $109.00 price target on shares of Clorox in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Clorox in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $131.00 price target (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $134.00 price target (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on shares of Clorox from $134.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Clorox currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $127.80.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) traded down 0.02% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $122.49. The company had a trading volume of 171,773 shares. Clorox has a 1-year low of $119.23 and a 1-year high of $140.47. The company has a 50 day moving average of $125.59 and a 200 day moving average of $129.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.86 billion, a PE ratio of 24.90 and a beta of 0.29.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last announced 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 quarter last year, the firm earned $1.44 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Clorox will post $5.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 26th will be given a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 24th. Clorox’s payout ratio is presently 64.91%.

In other news, COO Nikolaos A. Vlahos sold 925 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.07, for a total transaction of $123,089.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Laura Stein sold 38,882 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was 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. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Invictus RG acquired a new position in shares of Clorox during the first quarter worth about $110,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC raised its stake 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 period. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Clorox during the second quarter worth $114,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. raised its stake 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 period. Finally, Blue Chip Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Clorox by 7.1% in the second quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. now owns 890 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 59 shares during the period. 70.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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