Trillium Asset Management LLC lessened its stake in Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) by 4.4% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 137,433 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 6,314 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for about 1.0% of Trillium Asset Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th biggest holding. Trillium Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $18,838,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,108,380,000 after purchasing an additional 226,031 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,745,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $770,976,000 after purchasing an additional 207,345 shares in the last quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,842,375 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $515,570,000 after purchasing an additional 73,309 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,796,556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $375,243,000 after purchasing an additional 34,370 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jensen Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Jensen Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,534,985 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $340,144,000 after purchasing an additional 13,405 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.21% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 8th. Citigroup reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, May 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, May 3rd. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase lowered shares of Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $143.94.
Ecolab opened at $147.83 on Monday, Marketbeat.com reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 1.15. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $150.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $42.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.38 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.62% and a return on equity of 19.01%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.4 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 18th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 34.97%.
In other news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 4,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.04, for a total value of $652,992.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 27,402 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,727,768.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 491,499 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $136.83 per share, with a total value of $67,251,808.17. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have acquired 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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