Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the nineteen brokerages that are covering the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have given a hold recommendation and twelve have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $127.97.
ECL has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Citigroup Inc. raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $127.00 to $141.00 in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.55% on Wednesday, hitting $117.24. The stock had a trading volume of 328,506 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $119.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $118.67. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $98.62 and a 1-year high of $124.60. The firm has a market cap of $34.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.76 and a beta of 0.87.
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Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08. The firm had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.33 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.24% and a net margin of 7.20%. The company’s revenue was down 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.44 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th were paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 16th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.89%.
In other news, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total value of $3,158,178.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 456,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,861,681.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total value of $710,310.30. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,984,682.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.5% in the second quarter. Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,243 shares of the company’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. Private Trust Co. NA boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the third quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 5,032 shares of the company’s stock valued at $612,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the period. Conning Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the second quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 6,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $773,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. WFG Advisors LP boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.8% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 3,285 shares of the company’s stock valued at $390,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Lincoln Capital LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 0.4% in the second quarter. Lincoln Capital LLC now owns 7,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $894,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. 74.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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