Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $173.40 and last traded at $173.34, with a volume of 17991 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $170.99.
A number of research firms have weighed in on ECL. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Credit Suisse Group set a $154.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $163.93.
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The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 0.90. The company has a market cap of $49.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.93, a PEG ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.89.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.54. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.44% and a net margin of 9.74%. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.76 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.38 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 18th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.06%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.05%.
In other Ecolab news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 157,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.14, for a total transaction of $26,733,247.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 536,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $91,205,248.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 37,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.08, for a total value of $6,289,776.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 41,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,971,506.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 216,336 shares of company stock valued at $36,768,482. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECL. Sowell Financial Services LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 3,824 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $564,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.1% during the 4th quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 1,450 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $214,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 50.7% during the 4th quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 214 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. now owns 3,296 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $486,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Investment Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Investment Group LLC now owns 2,395 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $353,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.
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About Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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