Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. decreased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 6,123 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 230 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $813,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. CGOV Asset Management raised its position in Ecolab by 5.3% during the first quarter. CGOV Asset Management now owns 540,525 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $90,256,000 after purchasing an additional 27,135 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. Virtu Financial LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $859,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 0.6% during the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 70,803 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,874,000 after purchasing an additional 394 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LaFleur & Godfrey LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $16,541,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.42% of the company’s stock.
In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.93.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 131.33 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $131.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.52. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $38.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.03 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.79%.
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.
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