Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Position Reduced by United Services Automobile Association

United Services Automobile Association cut its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.1% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 82,827 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 950 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $12,986,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Edgewood Management LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 19.7% in the 3rd quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 6,762,577 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,060,237,000 after purchasing an additional 1,111,893 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,846,328 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $603,026,000 after purchasing an additional 93,640 shares in the last quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,410,955 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $534,770,000 after purchasing an additional 11,155 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its stake in Ecolab by 17.3% in the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,074,082 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $431,386,000 after purchasing an additional 453,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Ecolab by 36.1% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,797,769 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $392,612,000 after purchasing an additional 742,376 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.91% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $154.07 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $162.91. The company has a market cap of $45.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.85, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 0.88.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.53. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 19.13%. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.37 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be paid a $0.46 dividend. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 17th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 34.97%.

In related news, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total value of $6,412,005.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 558,017 shares in the company, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total transaction of $450,884.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 57,842 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,277,856.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 84,621 shares of company stock valued at $13,352,961. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently commented on the stock. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Nomura lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $146.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $147.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $154.47.

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Ecolab Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

Further Reading: Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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