Citigroup Boosts Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Price Target to $206.00

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) had its price target hoisted by Citigroup from $190.00 to $206.00 in a report published on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have a neutral rating on the basic materials company’s stock.

ECL has been the subject of several other research reports. Argus boosted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Credit Suisse Group set a $181.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $169.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $188.60.

Shares of NYSE:ECL traded down $3.97 during trading on Friday, hitting $196.02. 409,789 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 975,774. The company has a market capitalization of $57.65 billion, a PE ratio of 37.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.84. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $196.66. Ecolab has a one year low of $135.77 and a one year high of $209.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 19.81%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.27 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

In other news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,067,434.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total transaction of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 124,950 shares of company stock valued at $24,147,342 over the last quarter. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. Next Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $27,000. Advisory Alpha LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $28,000. Finally, Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $28,000. 75.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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