Fayez Sarofim & Co lowered its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) by 9.3% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 2,392 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 244 shares during the quarter. Fayez Sarofim & Co’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $345,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1,406.3% in the 2nd quarter. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC now owns 241 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $37,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 39.8% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 267 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $39,000 after buying an additional 76 shares in the last quarter. CoreCap Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $42,000. Covestor Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 56.0% during the 1st quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 298 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $53,000 after buying an additional 107 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Old North State Trust LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at about $48,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.76% of the company’s stock.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on ECL shares. StockNews.com raised Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 27th. Citigroup raised their price objective on Ecolab from $164.00 to $166.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Barclays raised their price objective on Ecolab from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price target on Ecolab from $168.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Ecolab from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $155.00 to $185.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 15th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $173.13.
Ecolab Price Performance
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 14th. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $3.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.69 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.02% and a net margin of 7.69%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.28 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.93 earnings per share for the current year.
Ecolab Dividend Announcement
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 21st will be paid a $0.53 dividend. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 20th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 55.50%.
In other news, EVP Larry L. Berger sold 4,404 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.95, for a total value of $717,631.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 12,442 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,027,423.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 1.04% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Ecolab, Inc engages in the provision of products and services in the field of water, hygiene, and energy. It operates through the following segments: Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, Global Energy & Life Science, and Other. The Global Industrial segment consists of the water, food and beverage, paper, and downstream operating segments.
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