Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 20,842,027 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 387,804 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. owned about 7.19% of Ecolab worth $2,766,780,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co lifted its stake in Ecolab by 60.0% in the 1st quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors lifted its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% in the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the 1st quarter worth about $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. 75.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on ECL shares. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.
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In related news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s 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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) remained flat at $130.80 on Thursday. 173,952 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $131.25 and its 200 day moving average is $129.52. The company has a market cap of $37.85 billion, a PE ratio of 29.90 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
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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