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Pending a takeover, Clorox’s multiple brands come into question

Jennifer Collins Aug 3, 2011
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Bob Moon: A salad dressing may be to blame when Clorox releases its earnings report later today. You heard that right. Analysts expect earnings to be flat or even down from a year ago. And this is a case where product diversity may be stretching things a bit too far.

Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports.


Jennifer Collins: M ost of us know Clorox for bleach. But there’s a lot more to the company, says John San Marco, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets.

John San Marco: They own Kingsford charcoal, Glad trash bags, KC Masterpiece barbeque sauce and salad dressings.

Commercial: From Hidden Valley, the Original Ranch.

If you don’t think bleach goes well with salad dressing, neither do some analysts, like Lisa Bradner of Geomentum.

Lisa Bradner: They are very different brands with very different market share.

She says some of Clorox’s brands might be more successful if they were sold off. Activist investor Carl Icahn has made a bid to take over the company.

Brad Barber: Icahn has a strong history of identifying companies that might have had poor management decisions and trying to untrap value for their shareholders.

Brad Barber teaches finance at the University of California, Davis.

Barber: So those neglected brands could do better if they were spun off and put under the hands of different management.

After all, the same strategy that makes Glad trash bags sell may be all wrong for kitty litter.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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