Zacks Investment Research Lowers Clorox Co. (CLX) to Hold
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.”
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on CLX. B. Riley reissued a neutral rating and issued a $109.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Atlantic Securities assumed coverage on shares of Clorox in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. They issued a neutral rating and a $138.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Clorox in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a neutral rating and issued a $131.00 price objective (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Clorox in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $134.00 price target (up from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a report on Sunday, July 24th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Clorox presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $128.90.
Shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) opened at 122.73 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $15.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.95 and a beta of 0.29. The company has a 50-day moving average of $126.86 and a 200 day moving average of $129.92. Clorox has a 12-month low of $119.23 and a 12-month high of $140.47.
Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.02. Clorox had a return on equity of 296.91% and a net margin of 11.25%. The business earned $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.44 EPS. Clorox’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Clorox will post $5.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 26th will be paid a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 24th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.61%. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 64.91%.
In other news, SVP Jon M. Balousek sold 5,136 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.14, for a total value of $673,535.04. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,384 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,017,457.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO Nikolaos A. Vlahos sold 925 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.07, for a total transaction of $123,089.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Clorox by 1.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,389,707 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,853,001,000 after buying an additional 188,564 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Clorox by 2.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,168,847 shares of the company’s stock worth $992,096,000 after buying an additional 169,031 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Clorox by 8.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,890,145 shares of the company’s stock worth $676,747,000 after buying an additional 385,723 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in Clorox by 8.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,275,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $453,286,000 after buying an additional 248,436 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC increased its position in Clorox by 17.1% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 1,989,769 shares of the company’s stock worth $275,364,000 after buying an additional 290,125 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.21% of the company’s stock.
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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