Credit Suisse Group Upgrades Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) to “Outperform”

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report issued on Friday, The Fly reports. The firm currently has a $195.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $180.00. Credit Suisse Group’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.63% from the stock’s current price.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on ECL. StockNews.com began coverage on Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their price objective on Ecolab from $230.00 to $210.00 in a research note on Thursday, February 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $191.00 to $190.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Mizuho decreased their target price on Ecolab from $210.00 to $198.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Finally, Argus reduced their price objective on Ecolab from $230.00 to $200.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $203.88.

Shares of ECL stock opened at $173.13 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $170.92 and its 200 day simple moving average is $192.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 1.27. Ecolab has a twelve month low of $154.31 and a twelve month high of $238.93. The company has a market capitalization of $49.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 45.09, a PEG ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.05.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The basic materials company reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82. The firm had revenue of $3.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.19 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.35% and a net margin of 8.45%. The company’s revenue was up 13.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 5.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Tracy B. Mckibben bought 1,475 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $170.00 per share, for a total transaction of $250,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,146,820. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director David Maclennan purchased 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 5th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $171.01 per share, with a total value of $102,606.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,351 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,941,134.51. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.04% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Eagle Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.3% during the second quarter. Eagle Capital Management LLC now owns 23,536 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,848,000 after buying an additional 292 shares during the last quarter. Jump Financial LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 23.7% in the third quarter. Jump Financial LLC now owns 1,826 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $381,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the period. Gabelli Funds LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 6.3% in the third quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 25,485 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,317,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the period. Madison Asset Management LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 2.4% in the third quarter. Madison Asset Management LLC now owns 26,487 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $5,526,000 after acquiring an additional 633 shares during the period. Finally, Natixis raised its position in Ecolab by 91.0% in the third quarter. Natixis now owns 5,182 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,081,000 after acquiring an additional 2,469 shares during the period. 75.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Ecolab (Get Rating)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.

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