Seaport Global Securities Equities Analysts Cut Earnings Estimates for Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

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Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Equities research analysts at Seaport Global Securities dropped their Q3 2018 EPS estimates for Ecolab in a research report issued on Wednesday, October 17th, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Harrison now expects that the basic materials company will post earnings per share of $1.52 for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $1.54. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q4 2018 earnings at $1.61 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $5.31 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $1.06 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.70 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.78 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $5.96 EPS.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on ECL. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 5th. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $147.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $154.47.

Shares of Ecolab stock traded down $0.15 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $159.33. The company had a trading volume of 736,204 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,528,996. The company has a market cap of $46.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.97, a PEG ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $125.74 and a 1-year high of $160.61.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.53. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.37 earnings per share.

In related news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.76, for a total value of $1,302,912.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,363 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,199,322.88. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 11,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.25, for a total value of $1,772,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,641 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,800,810.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 112,110 shares of company stock valued at $17,473,320. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% during the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 323,974 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $48,828,000 after acquiring an additional 5,235 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 23.8% during the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 142,289 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $22,308,000 after acquiring an additional 27,399 shares during the period. CIBC World Markets Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 20.6% during the third quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 12,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,945,000 after acquiring an additional 2,118 shares during the period. Sarasin & Partners LLP lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.3% during the third quarter. Sarasin & Partners LLP now owns 1,169,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $183,288,000 after acquiring an additional 48,481 shares during the period. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% during the third quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 242,903 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $38,082,000 after acquiring an additional 2,794 shares during the period. 76.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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