Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) updated its FY17 earnings guidance on Tuesday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $4.70-4.90 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $4.79. Ecolab also updated its Q3 guidance to $1.36-1.44 EPS.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday. UBS AG reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub downgraded Ecolab from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Monday. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $134.20.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.09% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $130.11. The company had a trading volume of 720,840 shares. The firm has a market cap of $37.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The company’s 50-day moving average is $132.07 and its 200-day moving average is $128.14.
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 issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.79%.
In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total value of $1,798,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802 in the last quarter. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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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