Wendell David Associates Inc. decreased its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 139,728 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,490 shares during the period. Ecolab accounts for approximately 3.5% of Wendell David Associates Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 4th largest position. Wendell David Associates Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $18,549,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its position 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 worth $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $134,000. 75.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 132.64 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $132.94 and a 200 day moving average price of $126.39. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The company has a market capitalization of $38.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.33 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 for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.01. The company 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%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.77 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th were paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 16th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.91%.
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Several brokerages have recently commented on ECL. Instinet raised Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Nomura raised Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $129.79.
In related news, Director Carl M. Casale bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 5th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $126.33 per share, for a total transaction of $631,650.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 11,495 shares in the company, valued at $1,452,163.35. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361. Company 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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