Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the nineteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $193.14.
ECL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. UBS Group set a $202.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Canaccord Genuity raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up previously from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, May 1st.
Shares of ECL stock traded down $1.01 on Friday, hitting $203.71. The stock had a trading volume of 38,296 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,121,265. The business has a 50 day moving average of $201.35 and a 200 day moving average of $186.08. The stock has a market cap of $58.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.18 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $135.77 and a 12-month high of $209.87.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.90%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 35.05%.
In other news, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at $4,181,659.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total transaction of $474,126.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,061 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,676,284.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 87,755 shares of company stock valued at $17,513,202 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 713,114 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $105,066,000 after buying an additional 13,857 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 10.1% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,070,398 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $451,565,000 after acquiring an additional 281,532 shares during the last quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $221,000. CWM LLC boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 10.0% during the 1st quarter. CWM LLC now owns 4,181 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $738,000 after acquiring an additional 379 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $1,625,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.59% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.
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