Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 4.4% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 10,380 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 480 shares during the quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,393,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $125,000. Community Bank N.A. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $174,000. Chelsea Counsel Co. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Wesbanco Bank Inc. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $201,000. 76.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research firms have commented on ECL. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Robert W. Baird cut their price target on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Barclays upped their price target on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their price target on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.88.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at $131.09 on Wednesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $122.58 and a 12 month high of $140.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,126.42, a P/E ratio of 25.50, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The company had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.25 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.25%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 31.91%.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.
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