LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA boosted its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 7.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,284 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the period. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $254,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of ECL. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 20,154.4% in the second quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC now owns 587,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $58,758,000 after acquiring an additional 584,680 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,078,831 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,015,097,000 after purchasing an additional 437,110 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 186.7% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 620,059 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,465,000 after purchasing an additional 403,800 shares during the period. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 59.3% in the first quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 1,083,150 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $191,220,000 after purchasing an additional 403,326 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 22.8% in the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,626,210 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $287,091,000 after purchasing an additional 301,789 shares during the period. 75.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities research analysts have commented on ECL shares. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Nomura raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $181.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $192.00.
In related news, EVP Laurie M. Marsh sold 6,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.04, for a total transaction of $1,146,852.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,583 shares in the company, valued at $3,200,809.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, 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 transaction of $10,437,798.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,067,434.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 95,650 shares of company stock worth $18,898,540 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE ECL traded up $3.14 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $206.81. 1,104,900 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,024,839. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $135.77 and a fifty-two week high of $209.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.18 and a quick ratio of 0.78. The firm has a market cap of $58.02 billion, a PE ratio of 39.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.84. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $199.61 and a 200-day simple moving average of $183.91.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 19.81%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.89%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.05%.
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.
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