Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI decreased its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 55.5% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,551 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 3,181 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $339,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 1.5% in the second quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 3,123 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $415,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 10.5% in the second quarter. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. now owns 12,545 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,665,000 after buying an additional 1,190 shares during the period. Sustainable Growth Advisers LP lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 3.2% in the second quarter. Sustainable Growth Advisers LP now owns 1,541,807 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $204,674,000 after buying an additional 47,360 shares during the period. Nuance Investments LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 5.5% in the second quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 23,009 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,054,000 after buying an additional 1,204 shares during the period. Finally, Cipher Capital LP acquired a new position in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $243,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.54% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. 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. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.57.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 129.83 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $37.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.99. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $131.58 and its 200 day moving average is $129.28. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.77 EPS for the current year.
The business 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.
In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 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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