Clorox (NYSE:CLX) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday, January 8th. The brokerage currently has $163.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Clorox has outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company is gaining from the 2020 Strategy, which is aimed at bolstering growth for the improvement of categories and overall market share. The company delivered a solid start to fiscal 2018 as both first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings and sales topped estimates and improved year over year. Earnings marked the fourth straight quarterly beat, while sales surpassed estimates for the second consecutive quarter. Earnings primarily gained from solid sales and gross margin expansion, while sales was driven by growth across the United Sates and International businesses, alongside rise in volumes. Despite a strong start to fiscal 2018, the company cut its view for the fiscal due to hurricane-related impacts and the divestiture of Aplicare business. Further, inflation and high commodity and logistics costs may dent gross margin.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on CLX. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price target on Clorox from $130.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Bank of America raised Clorox from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $155.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and set a $148.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a buy rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Consumer Edge upgraded Clorox from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $134.33.

Shares of Clorox (CLX) traded down $1.03 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $140.96. The stock had a trading volume of 1,101,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 837,200. Clorox has a 1 year low of $118.82 and a 1 year high of $150.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.02, a current ratio of 1.10 and a quick ratio of 0.77. The stock has a market cap of $18,320.00, a PE ratio of 25.86, a PEG ratio of 3.69 and a beta of 0.42.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.46 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by $0.05. Clorox had a return on equity of 161.59% and a net margin of 11.84%. The firm had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.36 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Clorox will post 5.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.84 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 23rd. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.38%. Clorox’s payout ratio is 61.65%.

In other Clorox news, SVP Michael R. Costello sold 10,574 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.01, for a total value of $1,438,169.74. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 34,867 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,742,260.67. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 20,051 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.46, for a total value of $2,615,853.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 10,896 shares in the company, valued at $1,421,492.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Moors & Cabot Inc. increased its position in shares of Clorox by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 2,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $339,000 after purchasing an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. increased its position in shares of Clorox by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 1,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $167,000 after purchasing an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its position in shares of Clorox by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,275,000 after purchasing an additional 54 shares during the last quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Clorox by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC now owns 9,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,324,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its position in shares of Clorox by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 11,312 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,506,000 after purchasing an additional 96 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.27% of the company’s stock.

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Clorox Company Profile

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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