Comerica Securities Inc. Increases Stake in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Comerica Securities Inc. grew its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 5.8% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 4,899 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 270 shares during the period. Comerica Securities Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $652,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the first quarter valued at $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its holdings in Ecolab by 2.9% in 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 during the period. Institutional investors own 75.42% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the company. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub downgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price objective on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Instinet restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $117.00 price objective (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. 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 company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.93.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.05 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $131.31 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.38. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed 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 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

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Ecolab 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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