Clorox Co (CLX) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox Co (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning. They currently have $151.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Clorox has outperformed the Zacks categorized industry in the last six months. Clorox is well positioned to gain from its diversified brand portfolio, which provides an edge over its peers to generate above-average industry growth. Further, it is on track with the execution of its 2020 Strategy that is helping it achieve cost savings and productivity enhancements. Also, the company is ahead of schedule with Renew Life’s integration, which is likely to fuel sales. Moreover, Clorox raised the lower end of its fiscal 2017 sales outlook. However, the company trimmed its earnings view owing to lower expected benefits from the recently adopted accounting standards. Also, currency woes, which have been troubling Clorox for a while now, are expected to linger in fiscal 2017. Estimates have been going down ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release, while it has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on CLX. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of Clorox in a research report on Thursday, December 15th. They set an outperform rating and a $136.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Clorox from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $112.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, December 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays PLC raised shares of Clorox from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $115.00 to $111.00 in a report on Monday, January 9th. B. Riley reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $125.00 price objective on shares of Clorox in a report on Monday, February 6th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Clorox in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. They issued a neutral rating and a $136.00 price objective for the company. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Clorox has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $128.97.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) traded down 0.9130% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $134.4115. 363,446 shares of the stock traded hands. Clorox has a one year low of $111.24 and a one year high of $140.47. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $136.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $124.70. The stock has a market cap of $17.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.9632 and a beta of 0.32.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. The business earned $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.41 billion. Clorox had a net margin of 11.15% and a return on equity of 239.42%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.14 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Clorox will post $5.32 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 19th will be issued a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 17th. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.36%. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.13%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BTIM Corp. increased its position in Clorox by 1.4% in the third quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 15,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,934,000 after buying an additional 215 shares in the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA boosted its stake in shares of Clorox by 7.0% in the third quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 208,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,145,000 after buying an additional 13,657 shares during the last quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC boosted its stake in shares of Clorox by 29.9% in the third quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC now owns 3,947 shares of the company’s stock worth $494,000 after buying an additional 908 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Clorox by 5.4% in the third quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 1,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $223,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baxter Bros Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Clorox during the third quarter worth about $226,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.14% of the company’s stock.

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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