Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 13.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 18,196 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,167 shares during the quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,853,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 487.7% in the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 712 shares during the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $126,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $139,000. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $154,000. Finally, Capital Management Corp VA acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at about $201,000. 76.10% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $159.33 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.90. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $125.74 and a 1 year high of $160.61. The stock has a market cap of $46.33 billion, a PE ratio of 33.97, a PEG ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.87.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.53. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.37 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.27 EPS for the current year.
In other news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 9,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $152.59, for a total transaction of $1,495,382.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 29,482 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,498,658.38. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.76, for a total value of $1,302,912.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 21,363 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,199,322.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 112,110 shares of company stock valued at $17,473,320 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Deutsche Bank upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 5th. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $147.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $154.47.
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Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
Further Reading: Why do company’s buyback their stock?
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