James Hambro & Partners bought a new stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm bought 36,979 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,963,000. Ecolab comprises approximately 2.5% of James Hambro & Partners’ holdings, making the stock its 10th biggest position.
Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $125,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,000. Community Bank N.A. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $174,000. Finally, Chelsea Counsel Co. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. 76.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at $130.45 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.34. The firm has a market capitalization of $37,866.45, a P/E ratio of 27.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 1.06. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $122.58 and a 1-year high of $140.50.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 31.91%.
In other Ecolab news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.09, for a total value of $2,467,620.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 427,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $58,612,555.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 19,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.54, for a total value of $2,654,522.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 43,262 shares in the company, valued at $5,950,255.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Citigroup lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.88.
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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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