AGF Investments America Inc. Lowers Position in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

AGF Investments America Inc. cut its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 15.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 53,375 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 9,698 shares during the period. Ecolab comprises about 2.8% of AGF Investments America Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th biggest position. AGF Investments America Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $7,086,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co lifted its position in Ecolab by 60.0% during the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors lifted its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab by 2.9% during the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $117,000. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. purchased a new position in Ecolab during the second quarter valued at $133,000. Institutional investors own 75.54% of the company’s stock.

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Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub downgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.57.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 129.83 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $131.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $129.28. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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