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Spring Cleaning Your Portfolio: The Clorox Company (CLX), Unilever plc (ADR) (UL), The Procter & Gamble Company (PG)

Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) hit a 52 week high on Mar. 15 of $41.46  and its EV/EBITDA is at 11.91 similar to The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX), but the return on equity at 32.30% is good. The company’s dividend growth rate over the last 10 years is the highest of these four consumer powerhouses as you can see on the chart.

The main drawback to Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) is the single digit growth rate of 5.48%, much lower than the industry and the sector, which averages 13.92% for the five year EPS growth rate.

The quintessential American company

Finally there’s The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), the Cincinnati Ohio based company and Dividend Aristocrat, a favorite hold of widows and orphans for its dividend for 122 years. That yield currently stands at 2.90%. There are few companies in the world with this kind of dividend consistency.

When it comes to home care there are fewer brands better known than Tide. It’s even a black market darling and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)’s household care products including Dawn dishwashing liquid (the best way to clean oil soaked waterfowl after oil spills) have the majority of market share in these dish and laundry detergent categories.

But Procter & Gamble hasn’t been the grower it used to be for some time. It does have the lowest P/E of these names at 17.33 but the PEG is at 2.42 and the growth rate at 7.80% is only slightly better than Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL). It is one of the largest cap US companies at 208.53 billion and is close to an all time high.

P&G is a Warren Buffett and Bill Ackman hold. Of all these names it has run up the least (13.58%) barely outperforming the S&P 500. Its EV/EBITDA at 12.02 exhibits some valuation concerns.

However, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has some tricks up its sleeve with its Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana fragrance lines, Tide freestanding dry cleaners (yes, actual bricks and mortar dry cleaners), and ZzzQuil, a non habit forming sleep aid, debuting this last year.

Clean as a whistle-the final takeaway

Which of these to buy depends on what corners of the portfolio need a tidying up: more international exposure, pick Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL); need a dependable yield, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) can fix you up; for growth Church & Dwight is the go to name; and for an all-around new broom go with The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX). Wait for pullbacks.

CLX Dividend Yield data by YCharts

The article Spring Cleaning Your Portfolio originally appeared on and is written by AnnaLisa Kraft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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