Investors Buy Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) on Weakness
Traders bought shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) on weakness during trading on Tuesday. $53.97 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $14.73 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $39.24 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Ecolab had the 11th highest net in-flow for the day. Ecolab traded down ($0.31) for the day and closed at $117.31
Several research firms have issued reports on ECL. Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Nomura cut their price target on shares of Ecolab from $96.00 to $94.00 and set a “reduce” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $120.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $126.74.
The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $121.67 and its 200 day moving average price is $117.16. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.79 and a beta of 0.90.
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Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.08. The company had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.33 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 7.20% and a return on equity of 19.24%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 16th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.19%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 43.89%.
In related news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total transaction of $710,310.30. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,475 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,984,682.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total transaction of $3,158,178.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 456,349 shares in the company, valued at $55,861,681.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at approximately $166,000. Bartlett & Co. LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 2.0% in the second quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the company’s stock valued at $186,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in Ecolab by 29.2% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $189,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the period. Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter valued at about $200,000. Finally, Nichols & Pratt Advisers LLP MA bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter valued at about $205,000. Institutional investors own 74.82% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. The Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. The Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units.
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