Impax Asset Management LTD raised its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 14.1% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 1,366,021 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 168,307 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for about 5.1% of Impax Asset Management LTD’s holdings, making the stock its 4th largest position. Impax Asset Management LTD’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $183,293,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $125,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $133,000. Community Bank N.A. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $174,000. Finally, Chelsea Counsel Co. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.59% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CFO Daniel J. Schmechel sold 1,708 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.30, for a total transaction of $232,800.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total value of $46,765.19. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307 in the last ninety days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) 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 firm had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.60 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.25 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 31.91%.
ECL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Ecolab from $140.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Royal Bank of Canada increased their target price on Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price 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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