Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Price Target Increased to $145.00 by Analysts at Barclays PLC

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) had its target price increased by Barclays PLC from $135.00 to $145.00 in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning. They currently have an overweight rating on the basic materials company’s stock.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Instinet reissued a neutral rating and set a $117.00 price objective (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $136.43.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.28 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

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In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECL. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.4% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 19.3% in the 1st quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at about $59,389,000. Finally, AXA boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 38.6% in the 1st quarter. AXA now owns 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the period. 75.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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