Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Colgate has outperformed the industry in the past month. We remain encouraged by the progress on its 2012 Restructuring Program and expect additional opportunities identified under the program to help reach the higher end of its previously stated cost and savings view. Moreover, the company has been infamous among investors with its meet or beat earnings track record. However, the company’s sales missed expectations for the fifth straight quarter in second-quarter due to continued softness in North America and challenges in Asia-Pacific. Further, the company lagged sales estimates in 16 out of the trailing 17 quarters. Nevertheless, the company remains focused on four fundamentals to boost profits including, increased spending on advertisements; innovation across portfolio; higher spends on e-commerce business and aggressively maximizing productivity. Also, its disciplined capital strategy bodes well. Estimates have been stable lately.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on CL. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Colgate-Palmolive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Jefferies Group LLC lifted their target price on shares of Colgate-Palmolive from $76.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Monday, July 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.85.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) traded down 0.8548% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $75.1025. 1,450,246 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Colgate-Palmolive has a 52-week low of $63.43 and a 52-week high of $77.27. The company has a 50-day moving average of $72.45 and a 200-day moving average of $73.19. The stock has a market cap of $66.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.9088 and a beta of 0.81.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.72. The firm had revenue of $3.83 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. Colgate-Palmolive had a net margin of 15.83% and a return on equity of 3,121.95%. The company’s revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.70 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Colgate-Palmolive will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Colgate-Palmolive news, Vice Chairman Franck J. Moison sold 35,000 shares of Colgate-Palmolive stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.52, for a total transaction of $2,503,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 201,411 shares in the company, valued at $14,404,914.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Patricia Verduin sold 3,833 shares of Colgate-Palmolive stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.45, for a total transaction of $273,867.85. Following the sale, the insider now owns 53,173 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,799,210.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 214,136 shares of company stock valued at $15,416,385 over the last 90 days. 1.02% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Waldron LP purchased a new position in shares of Colgate-Palmolive during the first quarter worth approximately $238,000. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 0.5% during the first quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 6,993 shares of the company’s stock worth $512,000 after acquiring an additional 37 shares in the last quarter. WealthTrust Fairport LLC purchased a new position in shares of Colgate-Palmolive during the first quarter worth approximately $624,000. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 4.8% during the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 1,666,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,974,000 after acquiring an additional 76,498 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Elkhorn Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Colgate-Palmolive during the first quarter worth approximately $1,364,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.09% of the company’s stock.

About Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate) is a consumer products company. The Company operates in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care, and Pet Nutrition. The Oral, Personal and Home Care product segment is operated through five geographic segments, which include North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa/Eurasia.

Analyst Recommendations for Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)

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