Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT decreased its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 46,043 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 273 shares during the quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $6,112,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 5.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,563,731,000 after acquiring an additional 1,044,370 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 2,154.8% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,884,161,000 after acquiring an additional 14,365,723 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after acquiring an additional 31,277 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 6.8% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $628,258,000 after acquiring an additional 320,253 shares during the last quarter. Finally, C WorldWide Group Holding A S increased its stake in Ecolab by 8.3% during the second quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,704,233 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $491,737,000 after acquiring an additional 285,258 shares during the last quarter. 75.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
ECL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.57.
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In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.12 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $131.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $129.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.94 billion, a PE ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.79 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.
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