Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Stake Increased by Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC

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Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 2.1% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,071,108 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 21,793 shares during the quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $189,093,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Tributary Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $27,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Ecolab by 14,455.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 4,056,773 shares during the period. Finally, Private Ocean LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $29,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.60% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 3,027 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.26, for a total value of $521,431.02. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,907 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,256,919.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total transaction of $2,022,924.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 34,666 shares in the company, valued at $6,045,403.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 339,633 shares of company stock worth $58,450,959. Insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Boenning Scattergood restated a “buy” rating and set a $210.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Seaport Global Securities restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $157.00 to $167.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $186.00 price objective (up from $160.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $180.93.

NYSE ECL remained flat at $$182.48 during trading on Friday. 673,156 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,012,049. The stock has a market capitalization of $52.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.76, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $135.77 and a 1-year high of $186.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 1.14.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.06% and a return on equity of 19.50%. The business had revenue of $3.51 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.91 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.

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Ecolab Company Profile

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

Further Reading: How does equity income fit into an investing strategy?

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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