Church & Dwight: If We’re Getting a Buyout Offer, We Don’t Know It!

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Apparently some companies do deny that they are involved in merger talks. The consumer products maker Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE: CHD) has seen shares rise on speculation that the company may be receiving a buyout offer. Church & Dwight is effectively denying this rumor.

What should stand out here is that the company making a statement is an exception to its policy of not commenting on market rumors. Still, the company said that in the future it will maintain its policy of not commenting on rumors, except as required by law.

Church & Dwight is smaller than the big-three U.S. consumer products giants of Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. Its market cap after an 8% rise was $13.7 billion.

It should also be known that, even if you back out an 8% gain on Thursday, the value as of Wednesday’s closing price of $96.98 was a real premium: at 27.5 times expected 2016 earnings estimates of $3.53 per share. Its value, again without the 8% jump considered, was 28.7 times the reported trailing earnings of $3.38 per share reported in 2015.

Church & Dwight makes many items around personal care. Arm & Hammer may be the most recognized name, but just some of its other well-known trademarks are OxiClean, XTRA, Nair and of course the Trojan brand.

The company’s official statement said:

Over the last several days multiple rumors were reported in the press regarding a potential purchase of the company. The company believes that it is prudent to advise its employees and investors that the company is not engaged in discussions with, nor has it received any proposal or communication concerning a potential bid for the company or any of its business units and is not otherwise aware of any information supporting these rumors.

Church & Dwight shares were halted into this statement. After closing at $96.98 on Wednesday, the pre-halt price was up 8.3% at $105.07, with a new all-time high seen at $107.37 on Thursday. Its 52-week low is $76.85 and its consensus analyst price target is $96.50.

Due to it having a higher earnings multiple than its consumer products peers, Church & Dwight also trades with a lower dividend yield of about 1.5%.

While the stock was not massively pricing in any rumors in price changes this week, trading volume was elevated at 1.19 million shares on Tuesday and 2.26 million shares on Wednesday. Church & Dwight has an average trading volume of only about 800,000 shares.