Shelter Mutual Insurance Co decreased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 8.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 23,834 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,280 shares during the period. Shelter Mutual Insurance Co’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,706,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 713,114 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $105,066,000 after acquiring an additional 13,857 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 10.1% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,070,398 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $451,565,000 after acquiring an additional 281,532 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 58.3% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 216,259 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,865,000 after acquiring an additional 79,628 shares during the period. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter worth approximately $459,000. Finally, First Manhattan Co. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 6,050 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,068,000 after buying an additional 82 shares during the last quarter. 75.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on ECL shares. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Citigroup increased their target price on Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity raised their price objective on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $192.00.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,067,434.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 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 approximately $1,916,421.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 95,650 shares of company stock worth $18,898,540 in the last ninety days. 1.52% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
NYSE:ECL traded up $1.52 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $203.16. 15,574 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,015,294. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $135.77 and a one year high of $209.24. The company has a market cap of $58.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.84. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $199.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.18 and a quick ratio of 0.78.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.27 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal 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 issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.
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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