Colgate-Palmolive (CL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Colgate has outperformed the industry in the last three months driven by smooth progress on its savings plan. The company is progressing well with its Global Growth and Efficiency Program along with additional savings anticipated from the recent expansion of the program. Moreover, the company has been infamous with investors for its meet or beat earnings track record. It also remains confident of the brand building and productivity maximization initiatives, which are likely to boost results. However, Colgate has been witnessing strained margins lately due to higher raw material and packaging costs, as well as advertising expenses. Though the company expects improved adjusted gross margin in 2018, it anticipates advertising costs to remain high, which should hurt operating margin. Moreover, it expects the backdrop to remain challenging in 2018. Nonetheless, estimates have been lately stable ahead of first-quarter 2018 earnings release.”

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A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Macquarie raised shares of Colgate-Palmolive from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $81.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $79.00 price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive in a report on Friday, January 26th. BNP Paribas downgraded shares of Colgate-Palmolive from an outperform rating to an underperform rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Barclays set a $75.00 price target on shares of Colgate-Palmolive and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Colgate-Palmolive from $75.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $77.91.

Shares of NYSE:CL opened at $69.77 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 27.02. Colgate-Palmolive has a 12 month low of $67.86 and a 12 month high of $77.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $63,093.55, a P/E ratio of 25.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.74.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 26th. The company reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75. Colgate-Palmolive had a net margin of 13.10% and a return on equity of 1,716.69%. The firm had revenue of $3.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.75 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Colgate-Palmolive will post 3.18 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 20th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 19th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.41%. This is an increase from Colgate-Palmolive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. Colgate-Palmolive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.75%.

In other news, SVP John J. Huston sold 1,524 shares of Colgate-Palmolive stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.17, for a total transaction of $106,939.08. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 87,376 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,131,173.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Noel R. Wallace sold 126,304 shares of Colgate-Palmolive stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.78, for a total transaction of $9,318,709.12. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 305,631 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,549,455.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 474,305 shares of company stock valued at $33,776,113. 1.02% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Delta Asset Management LLC TN raised its stake in shares of Colgate-Palmolive by 10.7% during the fourth quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 7,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $568,000 after acquiring an additional 725 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC increased its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 19.0% during the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC now owns 4,561 shares of the company’s stock valued at $344,000 after buying an additional 728 shares during the period. Boston Research & Management Inc. increased its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 1.6% during the third quarter. Boston Research & Management Inc. now owns 47,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,469,000 after buying an additional 738 shares during the period. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC increased its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 8.2% during the third quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 9,836 shares of the company’s stock valued at $717,000 after buying an additional 743 shares during the period. Finally, Elkhorn Investments LLC increased its holdings in Colgate-Palmolive by 4.5% during the fourth quarter. Elkhorn Investments LLC now owns 17,429 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,246,000 after buying an additional 743 shares during the period. 73.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Colgate-Palmolive

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.

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