Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $82.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 13.20% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Colgate has outperformed the industry in the past month. We remain encouraged by the progress on its 2012 Restructuring Program and expect additional opportunities identified under the program to help reach the higher end of its previously stated cost and savings view. Moreover, the company has been infamous among investors with its meet or beat earnings track record. However, the company’s sales missed expectations for the fifth straight quarter in second-quarter due to continued softness in North America and challenges in Asia-Pacific. Further, the company lagged sales estimates in 16 out of the trailing 17 quarters. Nevertheless, the company remains focused on four fundamentals to boost profits including, increased spending on advertisements; innovation across portfolio; higher spends on e-commerce business and aggressively maximizing productivity. Also, its disciplined capital strategy bodes well. Estimates have been stable lately.”

CL has been the topic of a number of other reports. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $79.00 price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Macquarie assumed coverage on Colgate-Palmolive in a report on Thursday, September 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $76.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub downgraded Colgate-Palmolive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised Colgate-Palmolive from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $75.00 to $84.00 in a research report on Monday, September 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Colgate-Palmolive currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $76.31.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE CL) opened at 72.44 on Monday. Colgate-Palmolive has a 52 week low of $63.43 and a 52 week high of $77.27. The company has a market cap of $63.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.92 and a beta of 0.81. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $71.88 and a 200-day moving average price of $73.18.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The company reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.72. Colgate-Palmolive had a return on equity of 3,121.95% and a net margin of 15.83%. The business had revenue of $3.83 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.70 EPS. The company’s revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Colgate-Palmolive will post $2.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Patricia Verduin sold 3,833 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.41, for a total value of $277,547.53. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 53,022 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,839,323.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Ellen M. Hancock sold 5,057 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.91, for a total value of $363,648.87. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 199,777 shares in the company, valued at $14,365,964.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 217,969 shares of company stock worth $15,693,933 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.02% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CL. Blue Chip Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 0.4% in the first quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. now owns 1,805 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Cue Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Cue Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,854 shares of the company’s stock valued at $360,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the period. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC now owns 3,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $282,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares during the period. M Holdings Securities Inc. grew its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 5,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $393,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the period. Finally, AlphaMark Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 1,698 shares of the company’s stock valued at $126,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the period. 73.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Colgate-Palmolive Company Profile

Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate) is a consumer products company. The Company operates in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care, and Pet Nutrition. The Oral, Personal and Home Care product segment is operated through five geographic segments, which include North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa/Eurasia.

Analyst Recommendations for Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)

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