Press coverage about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) has trended somewhat positive this week, according to Accern Sentiment. The research firm identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a daily sentiment score of 0.20 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave news stories about the basic materials company an impact score of 45.7263751701305 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.
Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Citigroup lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $137.21.
Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded up $0.65 on Friday, hitting $137.68. 1,266,995 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,030,000. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $117.53 and a 12 month high of $138.12. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market cap of $39,780.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.01, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.05.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be given a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.19%. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.33%.
In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total value of $46,765.19. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Daniel J. Schmechel sold 1,708 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.30, for a total transaction of $232,800.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 over the last ninety days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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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