Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Clorox Company (The) (NYSE:CLX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Clorox delivered a solid start to fiscal 2018 as both first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings and sales topped estimates and improved year over year. Notably, 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. Additionally, the company’s 2020 Strategy, which is aimed at bolstering growth for the improvement of categories and overall market share, bodes well. However, Clorox has lagged the industry in the last six months. 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.”

CLX has been the topic of several other reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a hold rating and issued a $137.00 price target (up from $126.00) on shares of Clorox Company (The) in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $132.00 price target (down from $137.00) on shares of Clorox Company (The) in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Clorox Company (The) from $138.00 to $128.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $115.00 price target on shares of Clorox Company (The) in a research note on Sunday, October 8th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Clorox Company (The) in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $128.72.

Shares of Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) traded down $0.64 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $130.41. 192,677 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,120,000. Clorox Company has a 1-year low of $111.24 and a 1-year high of $141.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $16,920.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a current ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.02.

Clorox Company (The) (NYSE:CLX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.46 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.48 billion. Clorox Company (The) had a net margin of 11.84% and a return on equity of 161.59%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.36 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Clorox Company will post 5.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 13th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 24th. Clorox Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.65%.

In other Clorox Company (The) news, COO Dawn C. Willoughby sold 2,158 shares of Clorox Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.00, for a total transaction of $297,804.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jon M. Balousek sold 9,223 shares of Clorox Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.87, for a total transaction of $1,280,798.01. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,614 shares in the company, valued at $2,862,666.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 21,242 shares of company stock worth $2,944,449 over the last ninety days. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CLX. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Clorox Company (The) by 1,402.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,390,206 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,400,912,000 after acquiring an additional 9,698,542 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in shares of Clorox Company (The) by 8,008.5% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,323,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,340,000 after acquiring an additional 1,307,153 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Clorox Company (The) by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,164,716 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,909,829,000 after acquiring an additional 649,766 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in shares of Clorox Company (The) by 30.9% in the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,301,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,736,000 after acquiring an additional 307,700 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Clorox Company (The) by 24.6% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,341,272 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,433,000 after acquiring an additional 265,200 shares during the period. 71.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Clorox Company (The)

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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Analyst Recommendations for Clorox Company (The) (NYSE:CLX)

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