GWM Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 17.6% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 72,566 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 10,835 shares during the quarter. Ecolab comprises 0.9% of GWM Advisors LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th biggest holding. GWM Advisors LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $11,377,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the stock. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 487.7% in the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 712 shares during the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $126,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $139,000. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $154,000. Finally, Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $209,000. 76.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 10,600 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.71, for a total value of $1,544,526.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 33,202 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,837,863.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 32,468 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.80, for a total value of $5,058,514.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 114,885 shares of company stock valued at $17,369,786. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27. The firm had revenue of $3.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.69 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.96% and a net margin of 10.83%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.13 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 18th were issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.97%.
A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $140.00 to $142.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Nomura lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $146.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, Bank of America assumed coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $123.00 price objective on the stock. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $150.81.
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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