Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Stock analysts at Jefferies Group lowered their FY2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Ecolab in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander now forecasts that the basic materials company will post earnings per share of $4.70 for the year, down from their prior forecast of $4.75. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $140.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.39 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $5.95 EPS.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

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Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Nomura restated a “hold” rating and issued a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $136.43.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in 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 valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the second quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 2,836 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $377,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the second quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $359,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 2.9% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. 75.31% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.49% 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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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