Despite industry data showing Clorox (CLX -0.67%) sales are accelerating both sequentially and year over year, an analyst is maintaining her price target of $268 per share on the household products maker. However, that does suggest 34% upside to where the stock currently trades.
Shares of Clorox are down 16% from the all-time high they hit in August, but they remain 30% above where they started 2020, and rising cases of COVID-19 suggest sales will accelerate further.
Growing by leaps and bounds
Clorox reported organic sales shot 27% higher in its fiscal 2021 first quarter and profits doubled. Not only were sales of its disinfecting wipes soaring, but consumers were still choosing to cook more at home than going out to eat. As a result, the grilling business of its household goods segment saw sales double. (Clorox owns the Kingsford brand of charcoal.)
D.A. Davidson analyst Linda Bolton Weiser apparently sees that trend continuing. She points to IRI data that shows sales for the four-week period ending Nov. 15 jumped 21.6% compared to the year-ago period, and they was higher than the 18.5% gain seen in October.
Weiser has put out her own estimates for December sales growth of 15% but admits that figure could "prove conservative."
The second wave of coronavirus cases that was expected seems to be washing across the country, and states are beginning to lock down again, imposing more restrictions on businesses. Supermarkets are also seeing more panic-buying occurring again -- a feature of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak when it was declared a pandemic.
Clorox has had difficulty keeping up with demand and has said the supply of disinfecting wipes would not reach equilibrium until 2021.