Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. Raises Position in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 32.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 37,487 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 9,253 shares during the quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,979,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,842,027 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,766,780,000 after purchasing an additional 387,804 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,325,707 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,034,488,000 after purchasing an additional 293,303 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after purchasing an additional 31,277 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 6.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $628,258,000 after purchasing an additional 320,253 shares during the last quarter. Finally, C WorldWide Group Holding A S grew its holdings in Ecolab by 8.3% in the second quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,704,233 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $491,737,000 after purchasing an additional 285,258 shares during the last quarter. 75.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.43% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $134.48. 244,974 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $131.11 and a 200 day moving average price of $130.25. The stock has a market cap of $38.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.75 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results 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 firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for 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%. The company’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In related news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired 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. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $134.21.

About Ecolab

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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