Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA lowered its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.2% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 405,668 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 727 shares during the period. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA owned approximately 0.14% of Ecolab worth $87,770,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hexavest Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. Adams Wealth Management bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at $27,000. Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at $30,000. Summit X LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at $40,000. Finally, Old North State Trust LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at $41,000. 65.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of ECL traded down $1.78 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $215.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,009 shares, compared to its average volume of 951,831. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $220.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $205.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $61.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -58.80, a PEG ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.61 and a quick ratio of 1.19. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $124.60 and a fifty-two week high of $231.36.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 15th will be paid a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 32.99%.
A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. UBS Group reduced their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $205.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 6th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $172.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 28th. Barclays raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $225.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 8th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $187.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price target on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $200.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $201.57.
In other Ecolab news, Director Barbara Beck sold 13,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $222.26, for a total value of $3,089,414.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 30,621 shares in the company, valued at $6,805,823.46. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 148,107 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $220.48, for a total transaction of $32,654,631.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 683,631 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $150,726,962.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 199,572 shares of company stock worth $43,964,233 in the last ninety days. Corporate 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. Its 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, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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