Welch & Forbes LLC Acquires 370 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Welch & Forbes LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.1% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 381,438 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 370 shares during the quarter. Ecolab makes up approximately 1.6% of Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 17th biggest position. Welch & Forbes LLC owned approximately 0.13% of Ecolab worth $73,614,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Corbenic Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Quantum Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter valued at $38,000. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 80.0% in the third quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 225 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 166.7% in the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 248 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $49,000 after buying an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strategic Blueprint LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the third quarter valued at $52,000. 74.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $186.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, December 20th. ValuEngine cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, January 6th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four 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 $200.17.

Ecolab stock traded up $1.61 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $194.61. 281,468 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,147,500. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $188.61 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $194.88. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $150.24 and a fifty-two week high of $209.87. The stock has a market cap of $54.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.07, a P/E/G ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 0.84.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.71. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 10.27%. The business had revenue of $3.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.53 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 17th were issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 16th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.97%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.81%.

About Ecolab

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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