Acadian Asset Management LLC reduced its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 49.1% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 8,883 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 8,567 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,569,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position 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 valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 4,056,773 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $261,004,000. 1832 Asset Management L.P. grew its position in Ecolab by 8,750.5% in the fourth quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 992,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $145,953,000 after acquiring an additional 981,191 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,641,721 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,452,158,000 after acquiring an additional 656,297 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in Ecolab by 43.8% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,324,421 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $195,153,000 after acquiring an additional 403,454 shares in the last quarter. 75.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of ECL stock traded up $5.24 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $197.44. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,929,222 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,104,752. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $135.77 and a 1-year high of $200.93. The company has a market capitalization of $54.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.61, a P/E/G ratio of 2.56 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 1.14. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $188.12.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.
Several analysts have commented on ECL shares. Nomura decreased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $208.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $169.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. UBS Group downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $180.00 to $186.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Argus upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $180.93.
In related news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $198.17, for a total value of $1,981,700.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 13,066 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,589,289.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total transaction of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 76,519 shares of company stock worth $14,253,673. Insiders own 1.52% 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. 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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