Harvey Investment Co. LLC Sells 15,368 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Harvey Investment Co. LLC reduced its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 28.5% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 38,507 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 15,368 shares during the quarter. Ecolab comprises 1.2% of Harvey Investment Co. LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 28th biggest holding. Harvey Investment Co. LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $6,798,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 11,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,672,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 15.8% in the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 477,737 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $61,579,000 after buying an additional 65,300 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,014,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 31.1% in the 4th quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 245,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $35,399,000 after buying an additional 58,182 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,447,561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $655,348,000 after buying an additional 39,640 shares during the period. 76.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of ECL stock opened at $185.00 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $53.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.24, a PEG ratio of 2.51 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $186.34. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.91 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.99%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.

Several research firms have recently commented on ECL. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on Ecolab from $169.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Nomura reduced their price objective on Ecolab from $210.00 to $208.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday. UBS Group lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $186.00 to $191.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Argus lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $178.27.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 2,969 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $183.27, for a total transaction of $544,128.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,417,043.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 157,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.14, for a total value of $26,733,247.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 536,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $91,205,248.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 306,458 shares of company stock valued at $52,489,544 in the last three months. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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About Ecolab

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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