Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) had its target price upped by equities research analysts at Jefferies Group LLC from $130.00 to $140.00 in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a “hold” rating on the basic materials company’s stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s target price suggests a potential upside of 6.46% from the stock’s previous close. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q4 2017 earnings at $1.39 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $4.70 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $5.95 EPS.
Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, September 11th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. One research 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’s stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $136.43.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.28 EPS.
In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.9% during 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. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% during 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 lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% during 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 lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 6.8% during 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 lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 8.3% during 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. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.31% 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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