Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lowered its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 30.4% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 116,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 50,977 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans’ holdings in Ecolab were worth $15,691,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $125,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $133,000. Community Bank N.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $174,000. Finally, Chelsea Counsel Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $201,000. 78.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at $134.91 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $38,969.89, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.76, a P/E/G ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $122.58 and a 52-week high of $140.50.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.91%.
ECL has been the topic of a number of research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.88.
In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 442,519 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $134.60 per share, for a total transaction of $59,563,057.40. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 694,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.10 per share, for a total transaction of $91,722,710.30. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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Ecolab Company Profile
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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