Zevin Asset Management LLC lessened its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 36,202 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 520 shares during the period. Zevin Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,806,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at $134,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 269.4% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 191,189 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $23,964,000 after purchasing an additional 139,434 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 21.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,134 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $283,000 after purchasing an additional 375 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,496,059,000 after purchasing an additional 31,277 shares during the last quarter. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 112,954 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $14,581,000 after purchasing an additional 649 shares during the last quarter. 75.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
ECL has been the subject of several analyst reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.09% on Friday, hitting $130.89. 496,204 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $131.34 and its 200 day moving average is $129.33. The stock has a market cap of $37.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.92 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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