Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday, January 3rd. The firm currently has $56.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight’s constant investments in product innovations and focus on buyouts has been paying off, as evident from its solid record, which was also retained in third-quarter 2017. Both top and bottom lines grew year over year and topped estimates. Results were backed by organic sales growth across all segments, which was driven by higher volumes. While this marked the company’s 4th straight quarter of positive earnings surprise, sales have outpaced the consensus mark in 12 out of the last 14 quarters. However, the company has lagged the industry in the past six months, somewhat due to high promotional costs. Promotional and R&D costs also dented margins in the third quarter. Moreover, stiff competition and a tough pricing environment remain concerns for the company. Nonetheless, management expects its strong portfolio and productivity programs to keep driving performance. Notably, it expects earnings growth of 8.5% in 2017.”

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Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Church & Dwight from $49.00 to $46.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a sell rating on shares of Church & Dwight in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Macquarie began coverage on Church & Dwight in a research note on Friday, September 15th. They issued a neutral rating and a $52.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Church & Dwight from $50.00 to $45.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Societe Generale raised Church & Dwight from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $54.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.00.

Shares of Church & Dwight (NYSE CHD) traded down $0.18 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $48.93. The stock had a trading volume of 1,721,355 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,934,814. Church & Dwight has a twelve month low of $43.21 and a twelve month high of $54.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $12,273.83, a PE ratio of 28.12, a P/E/G ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 0.55. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08.

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $967.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $937.20 million. Church & Dwight had a return on equity of 24.82% and a net margin of 12.32%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. analysts forecast that Church & Dwight will post 1.92 EPS for the current year.

Church & Dwight announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, November 2nd that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CFO Richard A. Dierker purchased 1,146 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $43.66 per share, for a total transaction of $50,034.36. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 6,411 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $279,904.26. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Matthew Farrell acquired 5,000 shares of Church & Dwight stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $43.83 per share, with a total value of $219,150.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 103,685 shares in the company, valued at $4,544,513.55. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC boosted its position in Church & Dwight by 12.8% during the 4th quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 28,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,412,000 after acquiring an additional 3,195 shares during the period. BTIM Corp. boosted its position in Church & Dwight by 21.6% during the 4th quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 696,298 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,934,000 after acquiring an additional 123,600 shares during the period. PGGM Investments acquired a new position in Church & Dwight during the 4th quarter worth $37,823,000. Welch & Forbes LLC boosted its position in Church & Dwight by 1.9% during the 4th quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC now owns 387,257 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,429,000 after acquiring an additional 7,128 shares during the period. Finally, Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH acquired a new position in Church & Dwight during the 4th quarter worth $603,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.66% of the company’s stock.

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About Church & Dwight

Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Consumer Domestic, Consumer International and Specialty Products Division (SPD). The Company also sells specialty products to industrial customers and distributors.

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