Brinker Capital Inc. grew its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 14.3% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 55,716 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,981 shares during the period. Brinker Capital Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $10,754,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 12.9% in the 4th quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,336,411 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $643,894,000 after acquiring an additional 381,681 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 3,227,952 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $622,962,000 after buying an additional 22,775 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 8.2% in the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 2,305,080 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $444,857,000 after buying an additional 173,938 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in Ecolab by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 2,100,160 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $405,310,000 after buying an additional 26,698 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 2,006,755 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $387,284,000 after buying an additional 28,734 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.62% of the company’s stock.
ECL traded up $9.05 on Thursday, hitting $160.83. 32,552 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,404,019. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $124.60 and a 12 month high of $211.24. The business has a 50-day moving average of $188.87 and a two-hundred day moving average of $191.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $44.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.83, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.78.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 18th. The basic materials company reported $1.66 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.70 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $3.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.11% and a net margin of 10.46%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.54 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 6.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 17th will be given a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.30%.
In other Ecolab news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 162,723 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $206.44, for a total transaction of $33,592,536.12. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 750,104 shares in the company, valued at approximately $154,851,469.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael C. Mccormick sold 4,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $206.53, for a total value of $1,011,997.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 59,430 shares in the company, valued at $12,274,077.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 273,546 shares of company stock valued at $56,033,000. Insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the topic of a number of research reports. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, February 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $200.00 to $152.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 17th. Cfra boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $185.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 18th. UBS Group lowered their target price on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $206.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $204.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, March 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $197.07.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.
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