Brokerages predict that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will report $3.58 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $3.63 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $3.53 billion. Ecolab posted sales of $3.35 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 6.9%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, February 20th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $3.58 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $13.68 billion to $13.82 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will report sales of $14.28 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $14.10 billion to $14.49 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Ecolab.

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

Several equities analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. UBS raised their price target on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. 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. Jefferies Group raised their price target on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $136.86.

Ecolab (ECL) opened at $134.37 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,820.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab has a 1 year low of $116.92 and a 1 year high of $137.96.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.22%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.33%.

In related news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 19,300 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.54, for a total value of $2,654,522.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,262 shares in the company, valued at $5,950,255.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total value of $46,765.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Sterling Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 1,397.8% in the third quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 570,435 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $73,364,000 after acquiring an additional 532,349 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake 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 purchasing an additional 387,804 shares in the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 34.3% during the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,481,329 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $196,646,000 after purchasing an additional 378,019 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 66.9% during the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 918,902 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $121,984,000 after purchasing an additional 368,376 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% during the second 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 in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.98% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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