AGF Investments Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 10.1% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 35,122 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,223 shares during the quarter. AGF Investments Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,473,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. United Asset Strategies Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth $3,345,000. Commerce Bank increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% during the 1st quarter. Commerce Bank now owns 71,682 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $11,171,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 19.4% during the 1st quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 25,552 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,982,000 after purchasing an additional 4,151 shares during the last quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 44.1% during the 1st quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC now owns 57,917 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,028,000 after purchasing an additional 17,723 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WCM Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 5.4% during the 1st quarter. WCM Investment Management LLC now owns 953,023 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $148,509,000 after purchasing an additional 49,216 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.17% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on ECL. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $164.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Boenning Scattergood lowered shares of Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, February 7th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Ecolab from $205.00 to $170.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 30th. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $200.00 to $152.00 in a report on Tuesday, March 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $188.15.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $3.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.49 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.32% and a return on equity of 20.12%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.03 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.06 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 15th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 32.30%.
In related news, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 1,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.03, for a total transaction of $354,654.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 15,712 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,095,735.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 72,606 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.02, for a total transaction of $14,813,076.12. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 34,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,940,352.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 108,844 shares of company stock valued at $21,878,694 over the last ninety days. 1.22% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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.
Further Reading: The Discount Rate – What You Need to Know
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