Eaton Vance Management raised its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 34.3% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,481,329 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 378,019 shares during the quarter. Eaton Vance Management owned approximately 0.51% of Ecolab worth $196,646,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its stake in Ecolab by 39.7% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 10,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 3,007 shares in the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its stake in Ecolab by 13.9% in the second quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 15,162 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,002,000 after purchasing an additional 1,846 shares in the last quarter. Tredje AP fonden grew its stake in Ecolab by 22.6% in the second quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 35,457 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,720,000 after purchasing an additional 6,530 shares in the last quarter. Dearborn Partners LLC grew its stake in Ecolab by 1.5% in the second quarter. Dearborn Partners LLC now owns 17,490 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,322,000 after purchasing an additional 263 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 1,934.2% in the second quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 62,735 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,328,000 after purchasing an additional 59,651 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.54% of the company’s stock.
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In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 129.98 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $37.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.72 and a beta of 0.99. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $131.53 and its 200 day moving average price is $129.28. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during 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%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.76 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price target (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley started coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.93.
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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