Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $56.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight has surpassed the industry in the past three months, courtesy of its constant investments in product innovations and focus on buyouts. These efforts have been paying off, as evident from its solid record, which was also retained in third-quarter 2017. While this marked the company’s 4th straight quarter of positive earnings surprise, sales have outpaced the consensus mark in 12 out of the last 14 quarters. Results were backed by organic sales growth across all segments, which was driven by higher volumes. However, the company has been witnessing high promotional costs, which along with elevated R&D costs also dented margins in the third quarter. Moreover, stiff competition and a tough pricing environment remain concerns for the company. Nonetheless, management expects its strong portfolio and productivity programs to keep driving performance. Notably, it expects earnings growth of 8.5% in 2017.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Deutsche Bank began coverage on Church & Dwight in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a buy rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Church & Dwight from $49.00 to $46.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Macquarie began coverage on Church & Dwight in a report on Friday, September 15th. They issued a neutral rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Barclays lowered their target price on Church & Dwight from $49.00 to $43.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered their target price on Church & Dwight from $50.00 to $45.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 6th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $50.70.
Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.02. Church & Dwight had a return on equity of 24.82% and a net margin of 12.32%. The company had revenue of $967.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $937.20 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.47 earnings per share. Church & Dwight’s revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Church & Dwight will post 1.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Church & Dwight declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, November 2nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CEO Matthew Farrell acquired 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $43.83 per share, with a total value of $219,150.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 103,685 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,544,513.55. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Richard A. Dierker acquired 1,146 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $43.66 per share, for a total transaction of $50,034.36. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now directly owns 6,411 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $279,904.26. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Church & Dwight by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,784,350 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,441,451,000 after buying an additional 345,265 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Church & Dwight by 0.8% in the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,852,760 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,117,000 after buying an additional 38,507 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Church & Dwight by 28.2% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,923,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $93,169,000 after buying an additional 423,267 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in shares of Church & Dwight by 13.1% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,795,728 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,003,000 after buying an additional 207,400 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Church & Dwight by 158.9% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,791,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $92,964,000 after buying an additional 1,099,670 shares during the period. 79.87% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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Church & Dwight Company Profile
Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products Division (SPD). The Company also sells specialty products to industrial customers and distributors.
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