Dividend Increase: Clorox (CLX) 2017

Clorox makes bleach, cleaning chemicals, water filters, cat litter, charcoal, salad dressing, and all natural personal care products, to name a few of their top selling product lines. You may know Clorox for a lot of their products, but did you know they also have some funny commercials:

For 2017, CLX has rewarded shareholders with a 5% dividend increase of $0.04 per share, bringing their quarterly dividend to $0.84 from the previous $0.80.  This increase falls exactly in line with my expectations for the year.  The current dividend yield stands at 2.56% based on the $131.23 closing price.

Clorox Dividend History:

Looking at the above spreadsheet, we see that CLX has been increasing its dividend since 2005.  2004 saw a one year break snapping their streak.  Since 2003, CLX has increased its dividend on average 8.77%.  The dividend has grown 222% since 2003, not too shabby for a low profile company that typically doesn’t receive much press, unless flu season gets out of control.

CLX vs S&P500:

Clorox largely received no attention from Wall Street.  Years ago they had a market cap of just under $7Billion during the recession.  In 2009, Carl Icahn did investors a solid and did one of his fake buyout offers to drive the price up, so he could make a quick profit.  Thanks Carl, but you should have stayed long.  Since the takeover offer, CLX has been on fire, outperforming the S&P500 by 40% over the last decade.

CLX Key Stats:

Market Cap: $16.90 Billion

Dividend Yield: 2.56%

PE Ratio: 25.92

Total Cash: $431 Million

Total Debt: $2.44 Billion

Profit Margin: 11.22%

Payout Ratio: 62.52%

Beta: 0.23

In this rich market, I’m trying to find value.  PE multiples are high for a lot of companies, CLX included.  While the debt isn’t high per se, I’d like to see more of a cash cushion for lean times, so additional debt loads don’t have to be taken on.  Also paying down some debt would be nice.  Payout Ratio is manageable.

Conclusion:

I’d hold off on buying CLX right now.  As recently as 5-6 months ago, CLX was a buying opportunity in the 115 level.  I’d hold off for around those levels again.  I’m not in a rush to throw money into this market.  Whenever the dollar weakens, that should help earning for CLX.  I expect the dividend to grow around 4-5% in 2018.  CLX is quick to pullout of countries that are unprofitable due to high inflation and that is part of the reason they have outperformed their peers.

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