Clorox (NYSE:CLX) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday, reports. The firm currently has $165.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Clorox lagged the industry in the past six months owing to ongoing impacts from elevated commodity costs, adverse currency rates as well as increased manufacturing and logistics expenses. Driven by these factors, the company reported dismal earnings and sales in third-quarter fiscal 2019. This marked the first earnings miss after nine straight quarters of beat, while sales lagged estimates for the third time in the last four quarters. Further, the company narrowed sales view for 2019, anticipating a milder cold and flu season, as well as increased promotional activity in the Wipes category. It also expects tariffs to weigh on earnings in 2019. However, the company’s cost savings plans and pricing strategy cushioned results. The company's 2020 Strategy, aimed at bolstering growth of categories and overall market share, also bodes well.”

CLX has been the topic of several other research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $60.00 price objective on Bayerische Motoren Werke and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a hold rating on shares of Canada Goose in a research note on Thursday, May 30th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of TMAC Resources from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Bank of America set a $54.00 target price on shares of Fortis and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Argus cut shares of Clorox from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, May 20th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $148.43.

Clorox stock opened at $155.24 on Tuesday. Clorox has a 12 month low of $127.34 and a 12 month high of $167.70. The company has a current ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.93. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $153.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.34 and a beta of 0.38.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.47 by ($0.03). Clorox had a net margin of 12.68% and a return on equity of 108.82%. The firm had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.57 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.37 EPS. Clorox’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Clorox will post 6.29 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 16th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $1.06 per share. This is a boost from Clorox’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.96. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 30th. This represents a $4.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. Clorox’s payout ratio is presently 61.34%.

In other news, SVP Denise Garner sold 20,399 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.61, for a total value of $3,215,086.39. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 4,896 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $771,658.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Clorox by 0.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,639,351 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,707,189,000 after purchasing an additional 83,514 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Clorox by 3.4% in the first quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,355,067 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,894,000 after purchasing an additional 76,799 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Clorox by 21.5% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,899,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $292,347,000 after purchasing an additional 335,835 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Clorox by 28.4% in the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,771,185 shares of the company’s stock worth $284,204,000 after purchasing an additional 391,569 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Clorox in the fourth quarter worth $175,485,000. 77.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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