Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Expected to Announce Earnings of $1.40 Per Share

Equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will post $1.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.43 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.39. Ecolab reported earnings per share of $1.25 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 12%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 20th.

On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full-year earnings of $4.70 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.69 to $4.73. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $5.31 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.20 to $5.40. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. UBS boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group boosted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One equities 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. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $136.86.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded up $0.18 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $134.85. 1,143,700 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 946,296. The company has a market capitalization of $38,908.09, a P/E ratio of 29.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $116.92 and a 52 week high of $137.96. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.26%.

In other Ecolab news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director David Maclennan acquired 450 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $131.77 per share, with a total value of $59,296.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,514 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,499.78. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 64,843 shares of company stock worth $8,852,577. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. raised its holdings in Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at about $133,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.98% of the company’s stock.

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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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