Synovus Financial Corp Increases Stake in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Synovus Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 49,511 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 202 shares during the period. Synovus Financial Corp’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $8,736,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Tributary Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in Ecolab by 14,455.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $28,000 after acquiring an additional 4,056,773 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Ocean LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $29,000. 75.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 2,969 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.27, for a total transaction of $544,128.63. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,417,043.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director David Maclennan bought 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $171.05 per share, with a total value of $171,050.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 2,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $430,874.95. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 339,633 shares of company stock valued at $58,450,959 over the last three months. 1.52% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on ECL shares. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 target price (up previously from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $186.00 to $198.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $210.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Nomura upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $170.00 to $210.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, Argus upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $180.93.

ECL opened at $182.48 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.14 and a quick ratio of 0.75. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $135.77 and a twelve month high of $186.34. The company has a market cap of $52.60 billion, a PE ratio of 34.76, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.06% and a return on equity of 19.50%. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.91 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.01%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.

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Ecolab Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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