Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Equities research analysts at William Blair decreased their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Ecolab in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now expects that the basic materials company will earn $4.65 per share for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.77. William Blair also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.39 EPS.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share.

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ECL has been the topic of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.57.

Shares of Ecolab (ECL) opened at 131.53 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $38.06 billion, a PE ratio of 30.07 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a 50-day moving average of $131.66 and a 200 day moving average of $129.14. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% during the 1st 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. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% during the 1st 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. 75.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ecolab

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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