Assenagon Asset Management S.A. Buys 26,008 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Assenagon Asset Management S.A. lifted its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 163.1% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 41,954 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 26,008 shares during the quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $7,407,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Man Group plc increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 16.1% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 29,232 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,583,000 after acquiring an additional 4,058 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter valued at about $205,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter valued at about $2,334,000. Standard Life Aberdeen plc increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% in the third quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 189,799 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $29,757,000 after acquiring an additional 8,884 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,407,375 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $220,657,000 after acquiring an additional 65,417 shares during the last quarter. 76.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total transaction of $2,022,924.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 34,666 shares in the company, valued at $6,045,403.74. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director David Maclennan acquired 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $171.05 per share, with a total value of $171,050.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 2,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $430,874.95. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 303,489 shares of company stock valued at $51,945,415. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, December 31st. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Edward Jones downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 5th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating and set a $210.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $157.00 to $167.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $168.64.

Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $184.89 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $53.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.51 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 1.27. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $135.77 and a twelve month high of $186.34.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.54. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.76 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.44% and a net margin of 9.74%. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.38 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 19th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.05%.

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Ecolab Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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