Neuberger Berman Group LLC lessened its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 277,197 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,845 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC owned approximately 0.10% of Ecolab worth $35,650,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 55,380 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,122,000 after purchasing an additional 509 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.4% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 552,149 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $71,012,000 after buying an additional 17,949 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 16.0% during the third quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 47,716 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $6,137,000 after buying an additional 6,572 shares in the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 214.6% during the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 47,508 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $6,110,000 after buying an additional 32,406 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cedar Hill Associates LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter worth $484,000. 76.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
ECL has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Jefferies Group increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $136.86.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.28 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.22%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.26%.
In related news, Director David Maclennan purchased 450 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were purchased at an average cost 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 purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 11,644 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.50, for a total value of $1,601,050.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 109,542 shares in the company, valued at $15,062,025. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
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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