Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Receiving Somewhat Positive Press Coverage, Analysis Finds

News coverage about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) has trended somewhat positive on Friday, according to Accern Sentiment. Accern identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a news impact score of 0.12 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news stories about the basic materials company an impact score of 50 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat likely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

These are some of the headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment Analysis’s analysis:

Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.32% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $129.81. 618,651 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The firm has a market cap of $37.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $132.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $127.80.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.79%.

Several equities 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 company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. 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. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $133.43.

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In other Ecolab news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.11, for a total value of $884,558.49. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 42,419 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,391,879.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361 in the last ninety days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Ecolab

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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