AXA raised its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 38.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up 0.8% of AXA’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. AXA owned 0.48% of Ecolab worth $176,247,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its stake in Ecolab by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 7,898 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $926,000 after buying an additional 1,019 shares in the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $374,000. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 34.3% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 65,410 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,667,000 after buying an additional 16,689 shares in the last quarter. Shepherd Financial Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $350,000. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 10,661 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,250,000 after buying an additional 98 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.71% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 133.05 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $132.94 and a 200-day moving average of $126.39. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The firm has a market cap of $38.59 billion, a PE ratio of 31.43 and a beta of 0.98.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.16 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.96% and a net margin of 9.47%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th were given a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 16th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 34.91%.
Several analysts recently issued reports on ECL shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Nomura raised shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Instinet raised shares of Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, May 1st. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $129.79.
In other Ecolab news, Director Carl M. Casale bought 5,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 5th. The stock was bought at an average price of $126.33 per share, with a total value of $631,650.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,495 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,452,163.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total transaction of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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