Essex Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 35.3% in the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 2,976 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 777 shares during the period. Essex Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $418,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $126,000. Signaturefd LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter valued at $131,000. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $154,000. Bingham Osborn & Scarborough LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Retirement Income Solutions Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter valued at $216,000. 76.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
NYSE:ECL opened at $145.97 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $42.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.73, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.95. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $125.74 and a 52-week high of $150.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 0.84.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 34.97%.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 10,600 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.71, for a total transaction of $1,544,526.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,202 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,837,863.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Christophe Beck sold 25,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $147.83, for a total value of $3,769,665.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,087,351.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 42,800 shares of company stock valued at $6,308,471 in the last three months. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ECL. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $142.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. ValuEngine cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 26th. Nomura lifted their price target on Ecolab from $136.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 3rd. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $146.59.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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