Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders purchased 2,918 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately Infinity compared to the typical daily volume of 0 put options.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. 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 boosted their price target on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $136.43.

Ecolab (NYSE ECL) opened at $131.38 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.84, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Ecolab will post 4.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ecolab news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its position in Ecolab by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC grew its position in Ecolab by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 2,836 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC grew its position in Ecolab by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $359,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.31% of the company’s stock.

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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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