Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Clorox (CLX) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. The firm currently has $163.00 price objective 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.”

CLX has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group restated a hold rating and issued a $132.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on Clorox from $138.00 to $128.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on Clorox from $130.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $115.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a report on Sunday, October 8th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a buy rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $134.33.

Shares of Clorox (NYSE CLX) traded down $1.03 during trading on Monday, hitting $140.96. The stock had a trading volume of 1,100,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 796,618. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.02, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 1.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $18,180.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.84 and a beta of 0.42. Clorox has a twelve month low of $118.41 and a twelve month high of $150.40.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.48 billion. Clorox had a return on equity of 161.59% and a net margin of 11.84%. The company’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.36 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Clorox will post 5.66 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 23rd. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio is 61.65%.

In other news, SVP Michael R. Costello sold 10,574 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was 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 directly owns 34,867 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,742,260.67. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 20,051 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,896 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,421,492.16. 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 made changes to their positions in CLX. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in Clorox by 10,344.4% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 940 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 931 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Clorox in the 2nd quarter worth about $133,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its stake in Clorox by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. purchased a new stake in Clorox in the 2nd quarter worth about $167,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Clorox in the 3rd quarter worth about $199,000. 73.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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