Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.2% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 204,902 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 405 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $40,456,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Next Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $27,000. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $28,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.95% of the company’s stock.
Shares of ECL traded up $0.53 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $196.59. 427,649 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,075,039. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $135.77 and a 12-month high of $209.87. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $203.04 and a 200-day simple moving average of $190.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. The company has a market cap of $55.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.45, a P/E/G ratio of 2.61 and a beta of 0.82.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.05%.
In related news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,067,434.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total value of $474,126.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 8,061 shares in the company, valued at $1,676,284.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 66,358 shares of company stock valued at $13,423,309 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. UBS Group set a $202.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura increased their price objective on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $192.00.
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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