Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,993,368 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 16,768 shares during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned about 0.69% of Ecolab worth $393,570,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Next Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $27,000. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth about $28,000. Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth about $26,000. Focused Wealth Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth about $30,000. Finally, Advisory Alpha LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth about $28,000. 75.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of equities analysts recently commented on ECL shares. Nomura lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price target (up from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $192.00.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.27 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.91%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Laurie M. Marsh sold 6,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $182.04, for a total transaction of $1,146,852.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,583 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,200,809.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total transaction of $474,126.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,061 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,676,284.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 94,055 shares of company stock worth $18,660,054 in the last 90 days. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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