First Financial Bank Trust Division raised its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 38,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 602 shares during the period. First Financial Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,055,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of ECL. Parametrica Management Ltd acquired a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $235,000. Prospera Financial Services Inc boosted its position in Ecolab by 16.0% in the first quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 2,242 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $281,000 after buying an additional 310 shares in the last quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY boosted its position in Ecolab by 1.4% in the first quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY now owns 292,461 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $36,546,000 after buying an additional 3,940 shares in the last quarter. First National Bank of Omaha boosted its position in Ecolab by 20.5% in the first quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 14,493 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,816,000 after buying an additional 2,468 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Ecolab by 11.4% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 186,447 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $23,370,000 after buying an additional 19,051 shares in the last quarter. 75.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.20% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $131.69. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 165,240 shares. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The company has a market cap of $38.16 billion, a PE ratio of 30.11 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50 day moving average of $132.62 and a 200 day moving average of $127.25.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
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Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.43.
In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
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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