Short Interest in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Drops By 10.1%

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Free Report) saw a large drop in short interest during the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,870,000 shares, a drop of 10.1% from the April 15th total of 2,080,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,250,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.5 days. Currently, 0.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Insider Transactions at Ecolab

In related news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $227.52, for a total transaction of $1,023,840.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 25,548 shares in the company, valued at $5,812,680.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In related news, Director David Maclennan bought 650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $227.37 per share, with a total value of $147,790.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 17,111 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,890,528.07. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $227.52, for a total transaction of $1,023,840.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 25,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,812,680.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Assetmark Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 17.7% in the third quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 3,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $598,000 after acquiring an additional 531 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 26.4% during the 3rd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 87,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,760,000 after purchasing an additional 18,203 shares during the period. Dearborn Partners LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 6.6% in the 3rd quarter. Dearborn Partners LLC now owns 6,892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,168,000 after purchasing an additional 427 shares during the last quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board grew its stake in Ecolab by 6.6% during the 3rd quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 12,880 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,182,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GS Investments Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 0.4% in the third quarter. GS Investments Inc. now owns 16,041 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,717,000 after buying an additional 62 shares during the period. 74.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ecolab Stock Performance

Shares of Ecolab stock opened at $231.90 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.41. Ecolab has a 1 year low of $156.72 and a 1 year high of $234.68. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $225.63 and its 200-day simple moving average is $206.59. The firm has a market cap of $66.22 billion, a PE ratio of 42.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 1.09.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Free Report) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.56% and a net margin of 10.01%. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.88 EPS. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ecolab Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.57 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 18th. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 42.22%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on Ecolab from $220.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Mizuho raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $216.00 to $260.00 in a research report on Friday, April 12th. Bank of America raised shares of Ecolab from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $185.00 to $216.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Piper Sandler started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $260.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Ecolab from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $236.88.

View Our Latest Stock Report on ECL

About Ecolab

(Get Free Report)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Global Industrial; Global Institutional & Specialty; and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.

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