Analysts expect Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) to post earnings per share of $1.38 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Ecolab’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.43 and the lowest is $1.34. Ecolab reported earnings of $1.28 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 7.8%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Tuesday, November 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year earnings of $4.76 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.65 to $4.84. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $5.37 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.30 to $5.53. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Ecolab.

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

ECL has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated 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. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.57.

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In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $106,000. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its holdings in 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 purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% in the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.53% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.31% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $131.12. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 716,147 shares. The firm has a market cap of $37.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The company’s 50-day moving average is $131.63 and its 200 day moving average is $129.15.

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

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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