Welch & Forbes LLC decreased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 381,068 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,538 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up about 1.8% of Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 16th biggest holding. Welch & Forbes LLC owned approximately 0.13% of Ecolab worth $75,467,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in ECL. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Krane Funds Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Next Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $27,000. Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at $28,000. Finally, Putnam FL Investment Management Co. bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $28,000. 75.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
ECL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. Canaccord Genuity upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Credit Suisse Group set a $181.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $193.14.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 19.81%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.27 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.05%.
In other news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,067,434.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 12,678 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $198.09, for a total transaction of $2,511,385.02. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,061 shares in the company, valued at $4,171,973.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 66,358 shares of company stock worth $13,423,309 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
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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