Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight’s constant investments in product innovations and focus on buyouts has been paying off, as evident from its solid record, which was also retained in third-quarter 2017. Both top and bottom lines grew year over year and topped estimates. Results were backed by organic sales growth across all segments, which was driven by higher volumes. While this marked the company’s 4th straight quarter of positive earnings surprise, sales have outpaced the consensus mark in 12 out of the last 14 quarters. However, the company has lagged the industry in the past six months, somewhat due to high promotional costs. Promotional and R&D costs also dented margins in the third quarter. Moreover, stiff competition and a tough pricing environment remain concerns for the company. Nonetheless, management expects its strong portfolio and productivity programs to keep driving performance. Notably, it expects earnings growth of 8.5% in 2017.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on CHD. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Church & Dwight in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. They set a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price target for the company. Societe Generale upgraded Church & Dwight from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Church & Dwight in a report on Monday, October 16th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on Church & Dwight from $47.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Church & Dwight in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.70.

Shares of Church & Dwight (NYSE CHD) traded down $0.05 during trading on Monday, reaching $50.39. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,414,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,055,450. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 1.05. Church & Dwight has a 52-week low of $43.21 and a 52-week high of $54.18. The firm has a market cap of $12,380.00, a P/E ratio of 28.96, a P/E/G ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.56.

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.02. Church & Dwight had a return on equity of 24.82% and a net margin of 12.32%. The firm had revenue of $967.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $937.20 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Church & Dwight will post 1.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Church & Dwight declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, November 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CFO Richard A. Dierker acquired 1,146 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were bought at an average price of $43.66 per share, with a total value of $50,034.36. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 6,411 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $279,904.26. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Matthew Farrell purchased 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $43.83 per share, for a total transaction of $219,150.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 103,685 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,544,513.55. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Church & Dwight by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,784,350 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,441,451,000 after acquiring an additional 345,265 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its position in Church & Dwight by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,852,760 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,117,000 after acquiring an additional 38,507 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in Church & Dwight by 28.2% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,923,003 shares of the company’s stock valued at $93,169,000 after acquiring an additional 423,267 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its position in Church & Dwight by 13.1% in the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,795,728 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,003,000 after acquiring an additional 207,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in Church & Dwight by 158.9% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,791,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $92,964,000 after acquiring an additional 1,099,670 shares in the last quarter. 79.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Church & Dwight

Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products Division (SPD). The Company also sells specialty products to industrial customers and distributors.

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Analyst Recommendations for Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD)

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