Patten Group Inc. lowered its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 14,765 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 67 shares during the period. Patten Group Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,849,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors 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 during the period. 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 during the period. 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 during the period. 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. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $132.07 and a 200-day moving average of $128.14. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders 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 dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.
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A number of research firms have weighed in on ECL. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $134.20.
In related news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares in the company, valued at $5,916,645.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock valued at $5,012,802 in the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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