Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) was downgraded by Citigroup from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $137.21.

Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded up $1.10 on Friday, hitting $136.47. The stock had a trading volume of 723,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 809,567. 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 twelve month low of $117.33 and a twelve month high of $137.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $39,170.00, a PE ratio of 30.74, a P/E/G ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.05.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 firm had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 7,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Larry L. Berger sold 5,197 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.37, for a total transaction of $713,911.89. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 33,110 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,548,320.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Pensionfund Sabic bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,744,000. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $3,489,000. Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 475.4% in the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 548,104 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $70,492,000 after purchasing an additional 452,846 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 9.6% in the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 971,753 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,977,000 after purchasing an additional 85,351 shares during the period. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $485,000. 76.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)