Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Releases Q4 Earnings Guidance

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) issued an update on its fourth quarter earnings guidance on Tuesday morning. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $1.35-1.45 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.44.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 130.92 on Tuesday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $131.43 and its 200-day moving average is $130.97. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $37.89 billion, a PE ratio of 29.93 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. UBS AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Two investment 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. Ecolab has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $134.21.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased 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 currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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.

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