First Hawaiian Bank reduced its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.0% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 22,621 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 224 shares during the quarter. First Hawaiian Bank’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,994,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Sowell Financial Services LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 3,824 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $564,000 after acquiring an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 1,450 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $214,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 50.7% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 214 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the period. United Capital Management of KS Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. now owns 3,296 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $486,000 after buying an additional 73 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Investment Group LLC boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Investment Group LLC now owns 2,395 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $353,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. 76.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
ECL stock traded down $1.84 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $183.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 207,130 shares, compared to its average volume of 930,008. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $185.76. The firm has a market cap of $53.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.96, a PEG ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 0.89.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 19th were given 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 payout ratio is 35.05%.
ECL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, December 31st. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $210.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $157.00 to $167.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $186.00 price target (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $163.93.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total value of $2,022,924.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 34,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,045,403.74. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 72,526 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.18, for a total value of $12,632,578.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 184,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,187,418.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 303,489 shares of company stock worth $51,945,415 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
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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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