Royal Bank of Canada reissued their outperform rating on shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Free Report) in a research note published on Friday, Benzinga reports. Royal Bank of Canada currently has a $213.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock.
Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on ECL. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. TheStreet upgraded shares of Ecolab from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Northcoast Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Ecolab from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, September 4th. Finally, Berenberg Bank started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, September 1st. They set a hold rating and a $180.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $193.86.
Ecolab Price Performance
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.03. Ecolab had a net margin of 7.96% and a return on equity of 18.33%. The business had revenue of $3.85 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.86 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.10 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ecolab Dividend Announcement
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.53 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.21%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.58%.
Insider Activity at Ecolab
In other news, Director David Maclennan acquired 650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $183.73 per share, with a total value of $119,424.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 15,071 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,768,994.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.04% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Institutional Inflows and Outflows
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd Zurich grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2,145,367.3% during the second quarter. Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd Zurich now owns 184,660,374 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $34,474,245,000 after buying an additional 184,651,767 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 58.0% during the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,510,224 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $802,069,000 after buying an additional 2,023,685 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth $276,712,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 65,845.5% during the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,835,923 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $267,237,000 after buying an additional 1,833,139 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth $304,475,000. 73.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.
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