Clorox (CLX) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has $163.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Clorox has outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company is gaining from the 2020 Strategy, which is aimed at bolstering growth for the improvement of categories and overall market share. The company delivered a solid start to fiscal 2018 as both first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings and sales topped estimates and improved year over year. Earnings marked the fourth straight quarterly beat, while sales surpassed estimates for the second consecutive quarter. Earnings primarily gained from solid sales and gross margin expansion, while sales was driven by growth across the United Sates and International businesses, alongside rise in volumes. Despite a strong start to fiscal 2018, the company cut its view for the fiscal due to hurricane-related impacts and the divestiture of Aplicare business. Further, inflation and high commodity and logistics costs may dent gross margin.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and set a $148.00 price target on shares of Clorox in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Clorox from $130.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Bank of America raised shares of Clorox from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $155.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on shares of Clorox in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a hold rating and a $142.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Consumer Edge raised shares of Clorox from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $134.33.

Shares of Clorox (NYSE CLX) traded down $1.73 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $144.43. 727,000 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 748,757. Clorox has a 12-month low of $118.41 and a 12-month high of $150.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $18,460.00, a P/E ratio of 26.50, a PEG ratio of 3.84 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.02, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 0.77.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.05. Clorox had a net margin of 11.84% and a return on equity of 161.59%. The firm had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.36 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Clorox will post 5.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 23rd. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.65%.

In other news, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 20,051 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.46, for a total value of $2,615,853.46. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,896 shares in the company, valued at $1,421,492.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Michael R. Costello sold 10,574 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.01, for a total transaction of $1,438,169.74. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 34,867 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,742,260.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Moors & Cabot Inc. raised its position in shares of Clorox by 1.2% in the second quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 2,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $339,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. raised its position in shares of Clorox by 2.5% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its position in shares of Clorox by 0.6% in the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,275,000 after buying an additional 54 shares during the last quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Clorox by 0.9% in the second quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC now owns 9,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,324,000 after buying an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its position in shares of Clorox by 0.9% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 11,312 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,506,000 after buying an additional 96 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.14% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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