Autus Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 2.3% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 56,350 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,265 shares during the period. Ecolab comprises approximately 1.5% of Autus Asset Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd biggest holding. Autus Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $8,834,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Edgewood Management LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.6% in the second quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 5,650,684 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $792,960,000 after purchasing an additional 144,389 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Ecolab by 84.9% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,752,688 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $526,615,000 after purchasing an additional 1,723,429 shares during the period. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec grew its holdings in Ecolab by 17.3% in the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,074,082 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $431,386,000 after purchasing an additional 453,400 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 36.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,797,769 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $392,612,000 after buying an additional 742,376 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 3.5% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,368,074 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $187,522,000 after buying an additional 45,993 shares during the period. 76.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several brokerages have recently issued reports on ECL. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and set a $146.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Barclays boosted their price target on Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $150.81.
ECL opened at $150.10 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $125.74 and a 52-week high of $159.92. The company has a market cap of $42.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.96.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.83% and a return on equity of 18.96%. The firm had revenue of $3.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.69 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.13 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 18th were given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 17th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.09%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.97%.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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