Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) in a report released on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus currently has a $130.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.
ECL has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut 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 set a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. UBS AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and increased their price objective for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $133.43.
Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 129.81 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $132.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $127.80. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The company has a market capitalization of $37.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Ecolab will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.
In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its stake 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. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in 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 during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 2.9% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.
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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