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Trojan sales down because of 'distracted' millennials, analyst says

  • Macquarie Research says condom sales are falling at Church & Dwight.
  • "Young people are having less sex because they are distracted by their mobile phones," it says.
  • Church & Dwight, which owns Trojan, is using digital advertising "to try and get young people off their phones and using Trojan condoms.

"Millennials have different priorities." Well, that's one way to put it.

One financial research firm says millennials aren't as busy in bed, and cellphones may be to blame.

Macquarie Research wrote on Thursday that condom sales are falling because "young people (17-25 years old) are having less sex because they are distracted by their mobile phones."

Church & Dwight, which manages a slew of major brands including Trojan condoms, is using digital advertising "to try and get young people off their phones and using Trojan condoms," wrote Macquarie Research analyst Caroline Levy. The analyst initiated coverage on the company with a neutral rating.

The analyst added that declines may also be attributed to more millennials living at home and alternative birth control measures, including Plan B and IUDs.

Levy estimates that Trojan sales in "measured channels" are down 3.4 percent in the latest monthly period, following a 3.3 percent decline in July.

It's critical for Church & Dwight to get Siri out of bed. Macquarie Research initiated coverage on the stock with a 12-month price target of $52, representing just 4.7 percent upside from Thursday's close. Church & Dwight's stock is up over 13 percent since January.

"There is opportunity for innovation, for example this year's launch of Trojan XOXO, a condom to appeal to a female audience," Levy said. "We expect limited premium expansion as weakness in condoms and pregnancy kits (lower usage rates), vitamins (price competition) and value detergent should limit profit upside."

In other attempts to expand its footprint and innovate, Church & Dwight announced in July that the company would be buying privately held Water Pik, which makes oral hygiene products and shower heads, for about $1 billion in cash.

Correction: Church & Dwight's stock is up over 13 percent since January. An earlier version misstated the move.