Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) – Investment analysts at Seaport Global Securities cut their Q2 2018 EPS estimates for shares of Ecolab in a research report issued on Wednesday, May 16th. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Harrison now anticipates that the basic materials company will earn $1.28 per share for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $1.30. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q3 2018 earnings at $1.59 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.65 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $1.42 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.76 EPS and Q4 2019 earnings at $1.82 EPS.
Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 12th. Robert W. Baird lowered their target price on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Nomura increased their target price on Ecolab from $125.00 to $136.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, Citigroup reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $143.94.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89 by $0.02. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.01% and a net margin of 10.62%. The business had revenue of $3.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 18th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.97%.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 4,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.04, for a total transaction of $652,992.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 27,402 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,727,768.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 442,519 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $134.60 per share, with a total value of $59,563,057.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 1,848,529 shares of company stock valued at $248,579,565. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 13,565.1% in the 4th quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 1,787,667 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $239,869,000 after acquiring an additional 1,774,585 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 55.9% in the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,159,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $289,764,000 after acquiring an additional 774,520 shares in the last quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 1,925.1% in the 1st quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 341,014 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $46,743,000 after acquiring an additional 324,175 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,001,452 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,193,323,000 after acquiring an additional 288,375 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,745,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $770,976,000 after acquiring an additional 207,345 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.99% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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