Webster Bank N. A. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL – Free Report) by 1.9% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 19,393 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 360 shares during the quarter. Webster Bank N. A.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,620,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in Ecolab by 58.0% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,510,224 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $802,069,000 after buying an additional 2,023,685 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $276,712,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 65,845.5% during the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,835,923 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $267,237,000 after buying an additional 1,833,139 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors purchased a new position in Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at about $304,475,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,118,829 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,661,330,000 after purchasing an additional 883,380 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.91% of the company’s stock.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
ECL has been the subject of several research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on Ecolab from $186.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. StockNews.com downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 4th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Ecolab from $190.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Citigroup increased their target price on Ecolab from $200.00 to $207.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Ecolab from $174.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $193.86.
Ecolab Price Performance
ECL traded down $0.09 on Tuesday, hitting $175.69. 273,574 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,084,401. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $183.64 and its 200-day simple moving average is $174.66. The firm has a market cap of $50.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.77, a P/E/G ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 1.01. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $131.04 and a one year high of $191.41. The company has a current ratio of 1.22, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $3.85 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.86 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.33% and a net margin of 7.96%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.10 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.08 EPS for the current year.
Ecolab Dividend Announcement
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.58%.
Insider Buying and Selling at Ecolab
In related news, Director David Maclennan bought 650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $183.73 per share, for a total transaction of $119,424.50. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 15,071 shares in the company, valued at $2,768,994.83. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.04% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.
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