The Clorox Inc. (CLX - Free Report) stock has been moving up the charts, thanks to the smooth execution of its 2020 strategy. By its actions, the company is poised to boost growth for its categories as well as overall market share. This has helped the company put up an impressive record of earnings and sales surprises.
Notably, this consumer products behemoth has gained 8.1% in the past three months, against the industry’s decline of 4.5%. So, let’s take a closer view of the factors that have spurred investors’ confidence in this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, which is most likely to keep its spectacular show on.
Focus on 2020 Strategy
Clorox is well on track with its 2020 Strategy, which is meant to be achieved through key accelerators like investment in brands; development of e-commerce; technological advancements; enhancement of growth culture and focus on the 3Ds - desire, decision and delight. The strategy aims at achieving certain long-term goals, including growing net sales by 3-5%, increasing EBIT margin by 25-50 basis points (bps) and generating free cash flow of 10-12% of sales, all on a yearly basis.
Brand Management, Go Lean Strategy
Clorox's diversified brand portfolio positions it well ahead of peers to generate above-average industry growth and sustain it in the currently challenging environment. The company remains committed to investing in product and brand differentiation to safeguard value proposition. The company’s approach to brand management allows each of its brands to develop further through rigorous research and development (R&D), marketing strategies, financial control and operating leverage.
Further, the company is focused on strong investments in demand building, including digital marketing, e-commerce and product innovation pipeline. It is also well placed to improve margins through cost saving and productivity initiatives. Moreover, the company’s Go Lean strategy in International remains focused on improving margins through operational efficiencies. We believe these strategies will aid the company in catering to near-term challenges.
Keeps with Current Trends – E-commerce in Focus
In response to the changing retail environment, Clorox is keen on making strategic partnerships with retail customers and evolving capabilities not only in the physical world but also online. Consequently, the company has bolstered digital capabilities in the last few years leading to a strong performance in e-commerce, which now represents 4% of total sales. Moreover, the company recorded nearly 40% annual growth in e-commerce sales in the last two fiscal years. Looking ahead, the company is ahead of track and nearing its 2020 target of $500 million from e-commerce sales.
Clorox’s Strategies Aid Quarterly Performance
Clorox’s actions and strategic initiatives have gone a long way in aiding the company’s earnings and sales scores. The company has a marked record of delivering positive earnings surprise in the trailing four quarters, while sales has topped estimates in the preceding two quarters. The company’s last reported first-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings gained from solid sales and gross margin expansion, while sales was driven by growth across the United Sates and International businesses, alongside rise in volumes.
Growth at the International business was particularly backed by increased pricing, offset by unfavorable mix. Additionally, the company’s efficient cost-saving initiatives and improved International pricing aided gross margin growth. Going forward, the company remains confident of the continued strength in underlying business performance.
Uptrend in Estimates
Clorox’s robust past performances and a favorable view on its business has led to an uptrend in the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last 30 days. This indicates that the investor community is watchful of the company’s actions and holds a positive outlook on the stock.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal second quarter has moved up by 1 cent to $1.22 per share and estimate for fiscal 2018 it has surged by 10 cents to $5.70 per share. Additionally, the estimate for fiscal 2019 has improved by 23 cents to $6.20 per share.
All said, we believe that Clorox’s underlying business strength along with focus on 2020 strategy should continue to drive performance.
Looking for More? Check These Trending Consumer Staples Stocks
The Boston Beer Co. Inc. (SAM - Free Report) , with a long-term EPS growth rate of 5%, flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL - Free Report) , with a solid earnings surprise record, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.6%. Notably, the stock sports a Zacks Rank #2.
Church & Dwight Company, Inc. (CHD - Free Report) , also with a Zacks Rank #2, has surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters and has a long term earnings growth rate of 8.9%.
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