California Public Employees Retirement System lowered its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.2% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 534,200 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,100 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System owned approximately 0.18% of Ecolab worth $70,915,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Rench Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% during the second quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 3,004 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $399,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the period. MML Investors Services LLC raised its stake in Ecolab by 15.3% during the second quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 7,437 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $987,000 after purchasing an additional 988 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 1.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,842,027 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,766,780,000 after purchasing an additional 387,804 shares during the period. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 28,148 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,736,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares during the period. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in Ecolab during the second quarter worth approximately $356,000. 75.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded up 0.31% during trading on Friday, hitting $131.35. 95,906 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $38.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.03 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $131.25 and its 200-day moving average is $129.52.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 33.79%.
In other Ecolab news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.
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Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.
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