Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Clorox (NYSE:CLX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Clorox trimmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2019 despite solid first-quarter results. This was mainly due to the expectations of making fewer share repurchases in fiscal 2019 than repurchases of nearly 50% of its $2-billion authorization, guided earlier. Adverse currency translations hurt the top-line growth and remain concerns in fiscal 2019. The company is also witnessing strained margins owing to higher commodity and logistics expenses, which is likely to persist in the fiscal year. However, the stock has outperformed the industry in the past three months. In first-quarter fiscal 2019, the company marked eighth consecutive positive earnings surprise and fourth sales beat in the last six quarters. Earnings gained from lower tax rate, and higher sales and cost savings, while the Nutranext acquisition and higher volumes aided sales. Moreover, its 2020 Strategy, aimed at bolstering growth at various categories and market share, is encouraging.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on CLX. Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Clorox from $149.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Clorox from $153.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Clorox from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, September 22nd. Argus upgraded shares of Clorox from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $175.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lifted their price objective on shares of Clorox from $123.00 to $124.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Clorox has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $142.79.

Clorox stock opened at $163.63 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $20.89 billion, a PE ratio of 27.83, a P/E/G ratio of 4.02 and a beta of 0.30. Clorox has a 1 year low of $113.57 and a 1 year high of $167.70. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.38.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.59 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. Clorox had a net margin of 13.59% and a return on equity of 102.65%. The business’s revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.46 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Clorox will post 6.31 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 8th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.96 per share. This represents a $3.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 22nd. Clorox’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.34%.

In other Clorox news, SVP Matthew T. Laszlo sold 13,485 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.04, for a total transaction of $2,171,624.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 20,098 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,236,581.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, COO Dawn C. Willoughby sold 54,205 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.39, for a total transaction of $8,531,324.95. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 37,044 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,830,355.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 87,452 shares of company stock valued at $13,839,402 in the last quarter. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CLX. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Clorox during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $105,000. Eqis Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Clorox by 13.2% during the 2nd quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,723 shares of the company’s stock worth $639,000 after acquiring an additional 549 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Clorox during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $199,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Clorox by 7.2% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 63,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,620,000 after acquiring an additional 4,281 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. grew its holdings in Clorox by 36.5% during the 2nd quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 3,948 shares of the company’s stock worth $534,000 after acquiring an additional 1,055 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.96% of the company’s stock.

About Clorox

The Clorox Company manufactures and markets consumer and professional products worldwide. It operates through four segments: Cleaning, Household, Lifestyle, and International. The company offers laundry additives, including bleach products under the Clorox brand, as well as Clorox 2 stain fighter and color booster; home care products primarily under the Clorox, Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Pine-Sol, S.O.S, and Tilex brands; naturally derived products under the Green Works brand; and professional cleaning, disinfecting, and food service products under the Clorox, Dispatch, HealthLink, Clorox Healthcare, Hidden Valley, KC Masterpiece, and Soy Vay brands.

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