Bp Plc reduced its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 19.6% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 78,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 19,000 shares during the period. Bp Plc’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $11,493,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other large investors have also made changes to their positions in ECL. Tributary Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Ruggie Capital Group purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 50.7% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 214 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $42,000. 77.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
ECL has been the subject of several recent research reports. Bank of America initiated coverage on Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $123.00 price target for the company. Barclays increased their price target on Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Citigroup cut Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $147.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, UBS Group cut Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $159.36.
In other news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total value of $450,884.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,277,856.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $162.65 on Thursday. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $127.23 and a twelve month high of $163.78. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $46.47 billion, a PE ratio of 34.68, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.89.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 39.23%.
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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.
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