Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $137.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.82% from the company’s current price.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on CLX. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $131.00 target price (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $134.00 target price (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Clorox in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Clorox in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $109.00 target price on shares of Clorox in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on Clorox from $134.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Clorox has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $127.80.

Analyst Recommendations for Clorox (NYSE:CLX)

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) traded down 0.02% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $122.49. The company had a trading volume of 171,773 shares. Clorox has a one year low of $119.23 and a one year high of $140.47. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.90 and a beta of 0.29. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $125.59 and a 200-day moving average price of $129.72.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.44 earnings per share. Clorox’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Clorox will post $5.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 26th will be given a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 24th. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.91%.

In other news, COO Dawn C. Willoughby sold 10,617 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.01, for a total value of $1,390,933.17. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 20,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,666,446.53. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Jon M. Balousek sold 5,136 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.14, for a total value of $673,535.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,384 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,017,457.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CLX. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Clorox by 1.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,389,707 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,853,001,000 after buying an additional 188,564 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Clorox by 2.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,168,847 shares of the company’s stock valued at $992,096,000 after buying an additional 169,031 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake 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 valued at $676,747,000 after buying an additional 385,723 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in Clorox by 8.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,275,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $453,286,000 after buying an additional 248,436 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Clorox by 17.1% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 1,989,769 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,364,000 after buying an additional 290,125 shares during the last quarter. 70.21% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CLX

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