Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Getting Somewhat Positive Media Coverage, Analysis Finds

News coverage about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) has been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment. Accern identifies negative and positive news coverage by reviewing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a media sentiment score of 0.11 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned press coverage about the basic materials company an impact score of 47.5101167906948 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the next few days.

These are some of the news stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s analysis:

ECL has been the topic of several recent research reports. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.76.

Ecolab stock opened at $136.42 on Thursday. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $122.58 and a 12 month high of $140.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The company has a market capitalization of $39,466.72, a PE ratio of 29.13, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.07.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The company’s revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.25 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 31.91%.

In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 442,519 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $134.60 per share, for a total transaction of $59,563,057.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 694,343 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $132.10 per share, with a total value of $91,722,710.30. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565 over the last three months. 1.49% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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