Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, August 3rd, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of 0.37 per share by the basic materials company on Monday, October 16th. 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 has increased its dividend by an average of 26.6% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 31 years. Ecolab has a dividend payout ratio of 31.4% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Ecolab to earn $5.36 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.48 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 27.6%.
Shares of Ecolab (ECL) opened at 129.98 on Wednesday. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $131.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.28. The stock has a market cap of $37.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.72 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 for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The business 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 business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought 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 accessible through this hyperlink. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
ECL has been the topic of several recent research reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Instinet restated a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Nomura dropped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $120.00 to $117.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.93.
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.
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