First Financial Bank Trust Division boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 38,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 602 shares during the period. First Financial Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,055,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased 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 in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased 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 in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased 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 in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth $134,000. 75.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 130.11 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $132.07 and a 200-day moving average price of $128.14. The company has a market cap of $37.65 billion, a PE ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.
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A number of research firms have recently weighed in on ECL. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $134.20.
In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 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. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802. Insiders own 1.49% 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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