Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $81.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 12.00% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Colgate has outperformed the sector in the past three months. 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 subject of a number of other research reports. SunTrust Banks, Inc. raised Colgate-Palmolive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $65.00 to $85.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $79.00 target price on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a report on Thursday, September 28th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised Colgate-Palmolive from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $75.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Monday, September 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Colgate-Palmolive currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.79.

Shares of Colgate-Palmolive (CL) traded down 0.37% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $72.05. 1,234,585 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Colgate-Palmolive has a 52-week low of $63.43 and a 52-week high of $77.27. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $72.83 and a 200-day moving average of $73.22. The stock has a market cap of $63.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.77 and a beta of 0.81.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72. Colgate-Palmolive had a return on equity of 3,121.95% and a net margin of 15.83%. The company had revenue of $3.83 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.70 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Colgate-Palmolive will post $2.90 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Director Ellen M. Hancock sold 5,057 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.91, for a total transaction of $363,648.87. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 199,777 shares in the company, valued at $14,365,964.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Patricia Verduin sold 3,833 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.45, for a total value of $273,867.85. Following the sale, the insider now owns 53,173 shares in the company, valued at $3,799,210.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 214,136 shares of company stock worth $15,416,385. Company insiders own 1.02% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Colgate-Palmolive in the first quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 16.9% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,432 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 207 shares during the last quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora bought a new stake in Colgate-Palmolive in the second quarter valued at approximately $109,000. Krilogy Financial LLC boosted its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 23.0% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 1,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 289 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hanson & Doremus Investment Management boosted its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 4.5% in the second quarter. Hanson & Doremus Investment Management now owns 1,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after acquiring an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.09% of the company’s stock.

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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