Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Short Interest Update

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) saw a significant increase in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,076,500 shares, an increase of 9.3% from the April 30th total of 4,643,700 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,020,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.0 days. Approximately 1.8% of the company’s shares are short sold.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 2,969 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,417,043.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 76,519 shares of company stock worth $14,253,673. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 14,455.4% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 4,056,773 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $261,004,000. 1832 Asset Management L.P. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 8,750.5% in the 4th quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 992,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $145,953,000 after buying an additional 981,191 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,641,721 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,452,158,000 after buying an additional 656,297 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 186.7% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 620,059 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,465,000 after buying an additional 403,800 shares during the period. 75.21% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ECL. Nomura set a $42.00 price objective on shares of General Motors and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price objective (up previously from $100.00) on shares of Zendesk in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of TELUS from C$51.00 to C$52.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. UBS Group lowered shares of Advanced Disposal Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of TMAC Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $180.93.

NYSE:ECL traded up $0.24 on Friday, hitting $199.80. The stock had a trading volume of 813,151 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,427,849. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market cap of $57.59 billion, a PE ratio of 38.06, a P/E/G ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.84. Ecolab has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $200.93. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $192.64.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.91 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Ecolab will post 5.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

Ecolab Company 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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