Financial Advocates Investment Management lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 52,057.9% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 73,021 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 72,881 shares during the quarter. Ecolab comprises about 0.8% of Financial Advocates Investment Management’s holdings, making the stock its 17th biggest holding. Financial Advocates Investment Management’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,882,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Tributary Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 14,455.4% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 4,056,773 shares in the last quarter. Ruggie Capital Group purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.33% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE ECL traded up $0.24 on Friday, reaching $183.20. 1,026,877 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 944,464. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $135.77 and a fifty-two week high of $186.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 0.85. The company has a market cap of $52.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.89.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors 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 yield of 1.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.05%.
In related news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 72,526 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.18, for a total transaction of $12,632,578.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 184,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $32,187,418.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 18th. The shares were 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 directly owns 34,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,045,403.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 303,489 shares of company stock valued at $51,945,415. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Nomura upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $170.00 to $210.00 in a research report on Thursday. Edward Jones lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 5th. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $154.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $168.64.
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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