Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $74.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.10% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Church & Dwight has outpaced the industry in the past six months, courtesy of strong organic sales trend as well as focus on international business and acquisitions. These factors have helped the company retain its sturdy surprise record in third-quarter 2018, wherein the top and the bottom line rose year on year. While earnings gained from higher sales and lower taxes, sales were backed by consistent category growth and market share gains. We note that the company’s international business is steadily gaining from strong brands. Also, organic sales have been sturdy, courtesy of strength in global consumer products. Encouragingly, management raised organic sales view for 2018, while keeping net sales view intact. However, the company’s gross margin has been declining, due to higher commodity and transport costs. Further, performance in the Specialty Products unit has been dismal, thanks to lower dairy products demand.”

CHD has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Church & Dwight from $46.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on Church & Dwight to $60.00 and gave the stock a “fair value” rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Church & Dwight from $55.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on Church & Dwight from $58.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group raised their price target on Church & Dwight from $65.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Church & Dwight presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.12.

CHD stock traded up $0.46 on Monday, reaching $66.01. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,864,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,062,542. Church & Dwight has a 12-month low of $44.38 and a 12-month high of $67.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.03, a PEG ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.54 by $0.04. Church & Dwight had a return on equity of 25.00% and a net margin of 20.25%. The company had revenue of $1.04 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.49 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Church & Dwight will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Church & Dwight news, VP Louis Tursi sold 315,820 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $18,033,322.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 155,434 shares in the company, valued at $8,875,281.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director James Craigie sold 300,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.43, for a total value of $19,929,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 327,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $21,760,940.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 650,082 shares of company stock valued at $39,909,666. 2.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Church & Dwight by 80,441.5% during the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 5,905,303 shares of the company’s stock valued at $313,926,000 after acquiring an additional 5,897,971 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Church & Dwight by 45.0% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,428,959 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,283,000 after acquiring an additional 1,064,241 shares in the last quarter. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. increased its holdings in shares of Church & Dwight by 49.7% during the third quarter. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. now owns 2,842,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $168,741,000 after acquiring an additional 944,200 shares in the last quarter. Compass Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Church & Dwight during the second quarter valued at $29,544,000. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Church & Dwight by 348.1% during the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 622,943 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,116,000 after acquiring an additional 483,922 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.19% of the company’s stock.

About Church & Dwight

Church & Dwight Co, Inc develops, manufactures, and markets household, personal care, and specialty products. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Domestic, Consumer International, and the Specialty Products Division. It offers baking soda, cat litter, carpet deodorization, and laundry detergent products under the ARM & HAMMER brand; condoms, lubricants, and vibrators TROJAN brand; stain removers, cleaning solutions, laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents, and bleach alternatives under the OXICLEAN brand; battery-operated and manual toothbrushes under the SPINBRUSH brand; home pregnancy and ovulation test kits under the FIRST RESPONSE brand; depilatories under the NAIR brand; oral analgesic products under the ORAJEL brand; laundry detergents under the XTRA brand; gummy dietary supplements under the L'IL CRITTERS and VITAFUSION brands; dry shampoos under the BATISTE brand; and water flossers and replacement showerheads under the WATERPIK brand.

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