Level Four Advisory Services LLC reduced its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 29.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 6,770 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,819 shares during the period. Level Four Advisory Services LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $847,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its stake in Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in 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 period. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth approximately $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted 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. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth approximately $134,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.73% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.09% during trading on Friday, reaching $130.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 720,840 shares. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The company has a market capitalization of $37.65 billion, a PE ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $132.07 and a 200-day moving average price of $128.14.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the 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 return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.
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A number of research firms have recently commented on ECL. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub cut Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $134.20.
In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on 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 valued at $5,012,802 in the last three months. 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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