StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL – Get Rating) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday. The brokerage issued a buy rating on the basic materials company’s stock.
Several other equities analysts have also commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Company increased their target price on Ecolab from $168.00 to $175.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on Ecolab from $175.00 to $180.00 in a report on Friday, December 9th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on Ecolab from $140.00 to $164.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. Mizuho raised their price objective on Ecolab from $158.00 to $163.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, January 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised Ecolab from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $155.00 to $185.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Ecolab presently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus target price of $173.13.
Ecolab Stock Performance
NYSE:ECL opened at $154.58 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $43.97 billion, a PE ratio of 40.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.54 and a beta of 0.98. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $155.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $151.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 1.30 and a quick ratio of 0.88. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $131.04 and a 12 month high of $185.50.
Ecolab Announces Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.53 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 20th. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.37%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 55.50%.
Insider Transactions at Ecolab
In other news, EVP Larry L. Berger sold 4,404 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.95, for a total transaction of $717,631.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 12,442 shares in the company, valued at $2,027,423.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 1.04% of the company’s stock.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Ecolab
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. DF Dent & Co. Inc. lifted its position in Ecolab by 8.4% in the second quarter. DF Dent & Co. Inc. now owns 1,319,269 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $202,851,000 after purchasing an additional 102,013 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in Ecolab by 122.8% in the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 16,898 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,441,000 after purchasing an additional 9,315 shares during the period. Wolverine Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at about $2,166,000. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 18.0% in the third quarter. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC now owns 4,318 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $624,000 after purchasing an additional 659 shares during the period. Finally, Money Concepts Capital Corp lifted its position in Ecolab by 221.6% in the third quarter. Money Concepts Capital Corp now owns 402 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $58,000 after purchasing an additional 277 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.76% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab, Inc engages in the provision of products and services in the field of water, hygiene, and energy. It operates through the following segments: Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, Global Energy & Life Science, and Other. The Global Industrial segment consists of the water, food and beverage, paper, and downstream operating segments.
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