"We are raising our 12m PO to $110 from $106, based on an 18.5x forward P/E on our 2013 EPS estimates, following meetings with mgmt last week and incremental analysis of the competitive setting," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 11 report. "CL is our top large cap pick. We believe 6%+ organic sales is sustainable in the medium-term, and EBIT growth and earnings quality are both likely to improve thru 2012, which should set CL apart from most of its Staples peers, offering potential for even higher relative valuation."
Shares of Colgate-Palmolive hit a 52-week high on Tuesday of $101.60. The stock's 52-week low of $78.62 was set on Aug. 9.Colgate-Palmolive trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 17.12 times; the average for personal products companies is 15.4. For comparison, Avon Products (AVP) has a lower forward P/E of 15.42. Fifteen of the 25 analysts who cover Colgate-Palmolive rated it hold. Eight analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. The stock has risen 9.99% year to date.