Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC purchased a new position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm purchased 34,784 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,360,000.
A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its position in Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased 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 valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased 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 valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. 75.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.09% during trading on Friday, hitting $130.11. 720,840 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $37.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $132.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $128.14.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.
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Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $134.20.
In related news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total transaction of $1,798,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802 over the last three months. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Ecolab Company Profile
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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