Azimuth Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 28.9% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 16,110 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 3,610 shares during the period. Azimuth Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,486,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hexavest Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $25,000. West Financial Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. Adams Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter worth approximately $27,000. Glassman Wealth Services increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 81.7% during the fourth quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 149 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 67 shares during the period. Finally, Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter worth approximately $30,000. 73.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Argus increased their target price on Ecolab from $215.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 7th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Ecolab from $170.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 23rd. Gabelli upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 15th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $221.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, February 17th. Finally, G.Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $206.50.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 16th. The basic materials company reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.25 by ($0.02). Ecolab had a positive return on equity of 18.14% and a negative net margin of 8.21%. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.66 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, EVP Elizabeth A. Simermeyer sold 515 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $221.38, for a total value of $114,010.70. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,827 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,732,741.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 148,107 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.48, for a total value of $32,654,631.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 683,631 shares in the company, valued at $150,726,962.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 189,004 shares of company stock worth $41,798,636 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. Its 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, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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