Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $81.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight has outpaced the industry in the past six months. The company is gaining from strong organic sales trend, focus on international business and portfolio expansion. Such factors supported the company’s performance during the fourth quarter of 2018. Further, we note that the company’s international business is steadily gaining from strong brands. Management plans to continue strengthening the international platform and come up with products under some of its leading brands. However, Church & Dwight has a dismal gross margin trend. We note that high input costs and adverse impacts from U.S. tariffs weighed on gross margin during the fourth quarter. Consequently, gross margin fell 250 basis points. Apart from this, the company is exposed to currency fluctuations and competition from other players in the consumer products space.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on CHD. SunTrust Banks increased their target price on shares of Church & Dwight from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on shares of Church & Dwight from $64.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Macquarie raised their price objective on shares of Church & Dwight from $72.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Barclays restated a sell rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Church & Dwight in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a hold rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Church & Dwight in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Church & Dwight has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $65.65.

NYSE:CHD opened at $73.01 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $17.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.16, a P/E/G ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.23. Church & Dwight has a twelve month low of $44.87 and a twelve month high of $73.10. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. Church & Dwight had a return on equity of 24.80% and a net margin of 13.72%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Church & Dwight will post 2.46 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP Maynadier Patrick D. De sold 139,320 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.72, for a total transaction of $9,295,430.40. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 40,650 shares in the company, valued at $2,712,168. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CHD. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Church & Dwight by 0.6% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,346,138 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,290,000 after buying an additional 13,313 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Church & Dwight by 0.8% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,115,928 shares of the company’s stock worth $66,248,000 after buying an additional 8,740 shares during the period. Baird Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in Church & Dwight during the third quarter worth about $235,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Church & Dwight by 11.6% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 617,252 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,647,000 after buying an additional 64,158 shares during the period. Finally, People s United Financial Inc. purchased a new position in Church & Dwight during the third quarter worth about $300,000. 82.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Church & Dwight

Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures, and markets household, personal care, and specialty products. It operates in three segments: Consumer Domestic, Consumer International, and Specialty Products Division. The company offers baking soda, cat litter, carpet deodorization, and laundry detergent under the ARM & HAMMER brand; condoms, lubricants, and vibrators under the TROJAN brand; stain removers, cleaning solutions, laundry detergent, and bleach alternatives under the OXICLEAN brand; battery-operated and manual toothbrushes under the SPINBRUSH; and home pregnancy and ovulation test kits under the FIRST RESPONSE brand.

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