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Clorox Hikes Dividend by Nearly 5% Despite Analyst Concerns

The Clorox Company (CLX) is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with $6.7 billion in 2020 net sales and approximately 8,800 employees worldwide.

The company generated 38% of its revenue from Health and Wellness, 29% from Household, 16% from Lifestyle, and 17% from International during the first quarter of 2021. Cleaning products were the single largest source of revenue at about 29% of sales. The company’s largest customer, Walmart (WMT), accounted for about one quarter of its total revenue.

Analysts Warn of Fading Habits

Clorox was a big winner throughout the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to its popular cleaning products, but with the pandemic receding in the U.S., sales could start to slow, according to some analysts that recently expressed concerns.

UBS analyst Peter Grom believes that many categories continue to see elevated purchase levels. But the firm initiated coverage with a Sell rating in late June, saying that the company could see a downward trend back to where sales would have been without the pandemic.

The move followed a downgrade by Wells Fargo analysts in the month prior to a Sell rating. The firm cited the recent spike in inflation, quarterly earnings that fell short of expectations, and muted pricing plans for the two-notch downgrade.

Despite these concerns, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 4.6% to $1.16 per share, representing a 2.59% forward yield. The dividend is payable on August 13, 2021 to shareholders on record as of July 28, 2021.

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