Stifel Nicolaus Reaffirms Hold Rating for Ecolab Inc. (ECL)

Stifel Nicolaus restated their hold rating on shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has a $140.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock.

ECL has been the subject of several other reports. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $140.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $136.43.

Ecolab (ECL) traded up $0.11 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $131.38. 1,869,828 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 935,536. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.71. The firm has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a PE ratio of 28.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 1.04.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post 4.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Ecolab news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at about $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% in the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% in the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. 75.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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