Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 34.1% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 13,063 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,322 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,036,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Clean Yield Group bought a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Sugarloaf Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $31,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 381.4% during the first quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 207 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $32,000 after purchasing an additional 164 shares during the last quarter. Procyon Private Wealth Partners LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Finally, Pacitti Group Inc. bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.17% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages have issued reports on ECL. Citigroup dropped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $185.00 to $164.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $204.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, March 4th. Deutsche Bank decreased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $220.00 to $170.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 20th. Boenning Scattergood downgraded shares of Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, February 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $200.00 to $152.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $188.15.
NYSE:ECL opened at $200.50 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $57.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.99. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $182.15 and its 200 day simple moving average is $186.92. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $124.60 and a twelve month high of $211.24. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.32% and a return on equity of 20.12%. The business had revenue of $3.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.49 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.03 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 16th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 15th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.30%.
In other news, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 72,606 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.02, for a total value of $14,813,076.12. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 34,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,940,352.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 1,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.03, for a total transaction of $354,654.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 15,712 shares in the company, valued at $3,095,735.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 108,844 shares of company stock worth $21,878,694 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.
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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