Eagle Ridge Investment Management lessened its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 1,784 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 70 shares during the quarter. Eagle Ridge Investment Management’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $352,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,078,831 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,015,097,000 after acquiring an additional 437,110 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,199,716 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $564,878,000 after acquiring an additional 22,023 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 10.1% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,070,398 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $451,565,000 after acquiring an additional 281,532 shares in the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.1% during the 1st quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,926,302 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $516,609,000 after acquiring an additional 31,033 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 22.8% during the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,626,210 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $287,091,000 after acquiring an additional 301,789 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.32% of the company’s stock.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 59,425 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,067,434.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 95,650 shares of company stock valued at $18,898,540 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
Shares of ECL stock traded up $1.27 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $202.91. The stock had a trading volume of 18,634 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,015,294. The company has a 50 day moving average of $199.06. The company has a current ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $135.77 and a one year high of $209.24. The company has a market capitalization of $58.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.69, a PEG ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.84.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The company had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.27 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.
Several research firms have recently issued reports on ECL. UBS Group set a $202.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura upped their price target on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price target (up previously from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Citigroup increased their target price on Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $192.00.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.
Further Reading: Are sell-side analysts objective?
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