Clorox Target of Unusually High Options Trading (CLX)

Clorox Co (NYSE:CLX) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders acquired 4,751 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,438% compared to the average volume of 309 put options.

In other Clorox news, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 10,585 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.89, for a total value of $1,628,925.65. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 17,994 shares in the company, valued at $2,769,096.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Andrew J. Mowery sold 5,340 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.44, for a total transaction of $835,389.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CLX. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in Clorox by 48,033.6% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 6,808,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,000 after purchasing an additional 6,794,834 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in Clorox by 178.2% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,063,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $460,828,000 after acquiring an additional 1,962,433 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Clorox during the 4th quarter worth $175,485,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Clorox by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,555,837 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,627,074,000 after acquiring an additional 752,085 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Clorox by 21.5% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,899,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $292,347,000 after acquiring an additional 335,835 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on CLX shares. BMO Capital Markets set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Clorox and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Clorox in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $172.00 price target on the stock. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and set a $142.00 price target on shares of Clorox in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $157.00 target price on shares of Clorox in a research note on Thursday, February 21st. Finally, Citigroup set a $171.00 target price on shares of Clorox and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Clorox presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $151.21.

Shares of CLX opened at $154.45 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.87 billion, a PE ratio of 24.67, a P/E/G ratio of 3.87 and a beta of 0.32. Clorox has a fifty-two week low of $113.57 and a fifty-two week high of $167.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.08, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a current ratio of 1.15.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 4th. The company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.08. Clorox had a net margin of 12.65% and a return on equity of 105.97%. The business had revenue of $1.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.47 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.77 earnings per share. Clorox’s revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Clorox will post 6.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 24th will be paid a $0.96 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 23rd. This represents a $3.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.49%. Clorox’s payout ratio is currently 61.34%.

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Clorox Company Profile

The Clorox Company manufactures and markets consumer and professional products worldwide. It operates through four segments: Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle, and International. The company offers laundry additives, including bleach products under the Clorox brand, as well as Clorox 2 stain fighter and color booster; home care products primarily under the Clorox, Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Pine-Sol, S.O.S, and Tilex brands; naturally derived products under the Green Works brand; and professional cleaning, disinfecting, and food service products under the Clorox, Dispatch, HealthLink, Clorox Healthcare, Hidden Valley, KC Masterpiece, and Soy Vay brands.

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