Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Given Consensus Rating of “Moderate Buy” by Brokerages

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) have earned an average rating of “Moderate Buy” from the twenty-one brokerages that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and nine have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $193.78.

A number of analysts recently commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 3rd. They set a “hold” rating and a $191.00 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $195.00 to $180.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab to $198.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Mizuho decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $198.00 to $183.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $225.00 to $190.00 in a report on Thursday, July 14th.

Ecolab Stock Down 1.5 %

Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $149.47 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $42.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.92, a PEG ratio of 2.59 and a beta of 1.01. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $165.09 and its 200-day simple moving average is $165.62. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15. Ecolab has a fifty-two week low of $143.82 and a fifty-two week high of $238.93.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.48 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 8.17% and a return on equity of 18.56%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.22 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Ecolab will post 4.78 earnings per share for the current year.

Ecolab Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be issued a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 19th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.36%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 53.13%.

Insider Activity at Ecolab

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 149,190 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $171.47 per share, with a total value of $25,581,609.30. Following the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 30,834,744 shares in the company, valued at $5,287,233,553.68. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 149,190 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $171.47 per share, for a total transaction of $25,581,609.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 30,834,744 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,287,233,553.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.74, for a total transaction of $533,568.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 22,530 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,756,652.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased 274,284 shares of company stock valued at $47,244,385 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.04% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 129.5% in the fourth quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 2,766 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $649,000 after buying an additional 1,561 shares during the period. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 41,420 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,715,000 after purchasing an additional 1,069 shares in the last quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 32.4% in the fourth quarter. Clearstead Advisors LLC now owns 2,437 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $572,000 after purchasing an additional 597 shares in the last quarter. Quantitative Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,364,000. Finally, Altavista Wealth Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. now owns 19,494 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,573,000 after purchasing an additional 329 shares in the last quarter. 87.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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