Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) had its target price increased by equities researchers at Barclays PLC from $135.00 to $145.00 in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the basic materials company’s stock. Barclays PLC’s price target points to a potential upside of 10.98% from the company’s current price.
ECL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $136.36.
Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.60% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $131.44. 810,241 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $38.04 billion, a PE ratio of 30.05 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $131.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $130.96.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post $4.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.31% 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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