Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Downgraded by BidaskClub

BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Monday.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on ECL. UBS AG reiterated a buy rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and increased their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $134.20.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 130.23 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $37.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.77 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $132.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $128.08. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data 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. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,466 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802. 1.49% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Rench Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $375,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the second quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 2,836 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $377,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the second quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $359,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.73% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Company Profile

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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