M. Kraus & Co Has $6.44 Million Holdings in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

M. Kraus & Co decreased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.3% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 36,504 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 105 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up approximately 3.8% of M. Kraus & Co’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 10th largest position. M. Kraus & Co’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $6,444,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sowell Financial Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 3,824 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $564,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 5.1% during the 4th quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 1,450 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $214,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 50.7% during the 4th quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 214 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. now owns 3,296 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $486,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Investment Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Investment Group LLC now owns 2,395 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $353,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.33% of the company’s stock.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total value of $2,022,924.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 34,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,045,403.74. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 157,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.14, for a total transaction of $26,733,247.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 536,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $91,205,248.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 303,489 shares of company stock worth $51,945,415. 1.52% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on ECL shares. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $186.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $157.00 to $167.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Edward Jones lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $163.93.

NYSE ECL traded down $1.70 during trading on Monday, reaching $183.39. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 33,481 shares, compared to its average volume of 976,120. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 1.27. The firm has a market cap of $52.77 billion, a PE ratio of 34.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $135.77 and a twelve month high of $185.31.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.54. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.74% and a return on equity of 19.44%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.76 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.38 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.00%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

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About Ecolab

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

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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