Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by research analysts at Robert W. Baird in a report released on Thursday. They presently have a $140.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock. Robert W. Baird’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 5.62% from the stock’s current price.

ECL has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on 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, 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. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $134.21.

Shares of Ecolab (ECL) traded up 0.81% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $133.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 273,306 shares. The company has a market cap of $38.67 billion, a PE ratio of 30.55 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $131.02 and a 200-day moving average of $130.22.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post $4.73 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ECL. CGOV Asset Management increased its stake in Ecolab by 5.3% during the first quarter. CGOV Asset Management now owns 540,525 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $90,256,000 after acquiring an additional 27,135 shares during the last quarter. Schwartz Investment Counsel Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 207.5% during the first quarter. Schwartz Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 30,750 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,854,000 after acquiring an additional 20,750 shares during the last quarter. Nichols & Pratt Advisers LLP MA increased its stake in Ecolab by 32.8% during the first quarter. Nichols & Pratt Advisers LLP MA now owns 3,240 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $406,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 14.3% during the first quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 1,554 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $195,000 after acquiring an additional 194 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Airain ltd acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $4,517,000. Institutional investors own 75.42% of the company’s stock.

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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