Eagle Capital Management LLC Increases Holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Eagle Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.3% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 22,571 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 73 shares during the period. Ecolab accounts for about 2.4% of Eagle Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 13th biggest position. Eagle Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,456,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 20,154.4% during the second quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC now owns 587,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $58,758,000 after buying an additional 584,680 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 2.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,078,831 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,015,097,000 after buying an additional 437,110 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 186.7% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 620,059 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,465,000 after buying an additional 403,800 shares during the period. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 59.3% during the first quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 1,083,150 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $191,220,000 after buying an additional 403,326 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 22.8% during the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,626,210 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $287,091,000 after buying an additional 301,789 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.33% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ECL stock traded down $0.87 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $200.06. 193,072 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 868,070. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $196.64. The stock has a market cap of $59.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a current ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $135.77 and a fifty-two week high of $209.24.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.28% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.79 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.27 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.

In related news, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,181,659.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Elizabeth A. Simermeyer sold 3,875 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.90, for a total value of $712,612.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,421 shares in the company, valued at $1,916,421.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 73,550 shares of company stock worth $13,709,544. 1.52% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Edward Jones lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Credit Suisse Group set a $181.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Argus upped their price target on Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $185.36.

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.

Further Reading: Oversold

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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