Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seventeen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have issued a hold recommendation and eight have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $129.31.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Instinet upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Nomura upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, May 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd.

In other news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total value of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 192,419 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $25,543,000 after buying an additional 5,972 shares during the period. Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 33.2% in the second quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 3,396 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $450,000 after buying an additional 846 shares during the period. Private Trust Co. NA boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% in the second quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 6,906 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $916,000 after buying an additional 111 shares during the period. Atria Investments LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.1% in the second quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 3,863 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $513,000 after buying an additional 153 shares during the period. Finally, Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the second quarter. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC now owns 6,428 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $853,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. 75.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Ecolab (ECL) traded down 0.12% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $131.89. 607,520 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $131.33 and its 200-day moving average is $125.10. The company has a market cap of $38.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.16 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.47% and a return on equity of 18.96%. The firm had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.16 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.78 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 16th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.91%.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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