Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Large shareholders that own more than 10% of a company’s stock are required to disclose their sales and purchases with the SEC.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.71% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $131.95. 893,277 shares of the company were exchanged. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.17 and a beta of 0.98. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $132.62 and its 200 day moving average price is $127.25.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

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ECL has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.43.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth $134,000. 75.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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