Putnam Investments LLC trimmed its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 9.0% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 409,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 40,457 shares during the quarter. Putnam Investments LLC owned approximately 0.14% of Ecolab worth $64,214,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Ancora Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter worth about $107,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter worth about $110,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 487.7% in the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 712 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $139,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter worth about $147,000. Institutional investors own 75.88% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Citigroup cut shares of Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Deutsche Bank raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 5th. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $154.47.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.53. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 19.13%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.37 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.25 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 17th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.97%.
In related news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the director now owns 57,842 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,277,856.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total transaction of $6,412,005.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 558,017 shares in the company, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Ecolab Company 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.
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