Pitcairn Co. reduced its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 24,617 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 254 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up 0.4% of Pitcairn Co.’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest position. Pitcairn Co.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,268,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 6.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $628,258,000 after buying an additional 320,253 shares during the period. Finally, C WorldWide Group Holding A S increased its position in Ecolab by 8.3% in the second quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,704,233 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $491,737,000 after buying an additional 285,258 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.73% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.04 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $131.81 and a 200-day moving average of $128.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The firm has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.98.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
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ECL has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.57.
In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock valued at $5,012,802 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
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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