Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Research analysts at William Blair dropped their Q1 2018 EPS estimates for shares of Ecolab in a research report issued on Tuesday. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now expects that the basic materials company will post earnings per share of $0.89 for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $0.92. William Blair also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q2 2018 earnings at $1.27 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.53 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $1.54 EPS.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

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A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on ECL. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $136.86.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) traded up $0.54 on Thursday, hitting $132.99. 1,328,452 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 936,676. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.83. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $115.78 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $38,580.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.11, a P/E/G ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 1.04.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,842,027 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,766,780,000 after acquiring an additional 387,804 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Ecolab by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,325,707 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,034,488,000 after purchasing an additional 293,303 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 6.8% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $628,258,000 after purchasing an additional 320,253 shares during the last quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S raised its position in Ecolab by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,769,066 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $484,739,000 after purchasing an additional 64,833 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Edgewood Management LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 0.9% during the 3rd quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 3,503,447 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $450,578,000 after purchasing an additional 30,773 shares during the last quarter. 75.74% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director David Maclennan acquired 450 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $131.77 per share, with a total value of $59,296.50. Following the purchase, the director now owns 1,514 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,499.78. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company 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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