First Republic Investment Management Inc. trimmed its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) by 3.5% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 210,893 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 7,719 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. owned approximately 0.07% of Ecolab worth $30,457,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
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A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,544,497 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,780,863,000 after buying an additional 146,785 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.1% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,079,882 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $543,784,000 after purchasing an additional 32,366 shares in the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,563,535 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $448,548,000 after buying an additional 104,282 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 9.9% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,336,675 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $342,744,000 after acquiring an additional 210,695 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mirova US LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 6.1% in the 2nd quarter. Mirova US LLC now owns 1,794,618 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $275,940,000 after acquiring an additional 103,590 shares during the last quarter. 86.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Insider Activity at Ecolab
In other news, Director David Maclennan acquired 800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $139.66 per share, for a total transaction of $111,728.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 12,597 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,759,297.02. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 1.04% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Ecolab Stock Up 0.9 %
NYSE:ECL opened at $154.29 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $131.04 and a twelve month high of $193.42. The company has a market cap of $43.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.98. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $148.72 and a 200-day simple moving average of $154.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $3.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.68 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.10% and a net margin of 8.13%. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.47 EPS for the current year.
Ecolab Increases Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 17th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 20th were issued a $0.53 dividend. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 19th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 53.94%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of research firms recently commented on ECL. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Ecolab from $181.00 to $145.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, November 7th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on shares of Ecolab from $169.00 to $143.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 3rd. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $160.00 to $168.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 13th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $165.00 to $135.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 2nd. Finally, Seaport Res Ptn upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 13th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $173.13.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.
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