State of Michigan Retirement System lessened its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.8% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 60,229 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 500 shares during the quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $11,928,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Next Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Finally, Focused Wealth Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at approximately $30,000. 75.95% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research analysts recently issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 5th. UBS Group set a $202.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura lifted their target price on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. ValuEngine cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, August 12th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $193.14.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th were given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total value of $474,126.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,061 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,676,284.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Catelan Leanne bought 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 14th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $1.16 per share, for a total transaction of $58,000.00. In the last three months, insiders sold 66,358 shares of company stock worth $13,423,309. 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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