APG Asset Management N.V. lowered its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 16.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 527,613 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 104,572 shares during the quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. owned 0.18% of Ecolab worth $82,954,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of ECL. 1832 Asset Management L.P. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 1,822.0% during the first quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 135,600 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $22,015,000 after acquiring an additional 128,545 shares during the last quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.5% during the first quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 311,977 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $48,616,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 9.9% during the first quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,489 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $388,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. Grandfield & Dodd LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.6% during the first quarter. Grandfield & Dodd LLC now owns 31,811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,957,000 after acquiring an additional 186 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Altavista Wealth Management Inc. increased its holdings in Ecolab by 7.4% in the first quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. now owns 19,183 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,989,000 after buying an additional 1,320 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.24% of the company’s stock.
ECL traded down $14.98 during trading on Thursday, reaching $210.93. The stock had a trading volume of 87,346 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,092,406. The firm has a market capitalization of $65.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.73, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.12 and a beta of 1.01. 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 Inc. has a 1-year low of $124.60 and a 1-year high of $231.36. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $199.85 and a two-hundred day moving average of $189.17.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $3.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.49 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.12% and a net margin of 10.32%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.03 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 16th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 15th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.30%.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Laurie M. Marsh sold 12,235 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $212.20, for a total value of $2,596,267.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 25,324 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,373,752.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 1,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.03, for a total value of $354,654.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 15,712 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,095,735.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 51,989 shares of company stock worth $10,658,061 in the last ninety days. 1.22% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Gabelli lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $200.00 to $152.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 17th. Citigroup decreased their target price on Ecolab from $185.00 to $164.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $204.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, March 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Ecolab from $205.00 to $170.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, March 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $188.15.
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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