Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. lowered its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 5.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 31,339 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,954 shares during the period. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,928,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its stake in Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 26.2% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.71% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 132.17 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $131.33 and its 200-day moving average price is $125.10. The stock has a market cap of $38.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.22 and a beta of 0.98.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.16 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.47% and a return on equity of 18.96%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 34.91%.
Several research firms have issued reports on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Instinet upgraded Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Nomura upgraded Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research report on Friday, May 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $129.79.
In other Ecolab news, Director Carl M. Casale bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 5th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $126.33 per share, for a total transaction of $631,650.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 11,495 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,452,163.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
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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