Appleton Partners Inc. MA Reduces Stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Appleton Partners Inc. MA reduced its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 12,344 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 69 shares during the period. Appleton Partners Inc. MA’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,639,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Rench Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $375,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 2,530 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $317,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ironwood Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the first quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,689 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $337,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. 75.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 130.11 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $37.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98. The company’s 50-day moving average is $132.07 and its 200 day moving average is $128.14. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday. Canaccord Genuity lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub cut shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research report on Friday, May 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $134.20.

In related news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total transaction of $3,080,472.06. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,916,645.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought 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. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

About Ecolab

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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