Ecolab (ECL) – Research Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Updates

Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) has recently received a number of price target changes and ratings updates:

  • 12/3/2018 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Ecolab operates in highly-competitive Chemical Specialty markets. Dull outlook for the Energy segment is a headwind. Factors like unfavorable pricing, margin pressures and competition are behind the dull outlook. The company lowered guidance for 2018. Despite strength in the Pest Elimination business and Colloidal technologies, Ecolab’s Other segment declined year over year on a reported basis in the last reported quarter. On the positive side, the company has undertaken a cost-efficiency initiative that is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is also a positive. Robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base are likely to drive organic sales. Ecolab outperformed its industry in a year’s time.”
  • 11/21/2018 – Ecolab had its “market perform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings Inc..
  • 11/21/2018 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
  • 11/21/2018 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at UBS Group AG from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating.
  • 11/21/2018 – Ecolab was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Ecolab outperformed its industry in a year’s time. The company has undertaken a cost-efficiency initiative that is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is also a positive. Robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base are likely to drive organic sales. However, despite strength in the Pest Elimination business and Colloidal technologies, Ecolab’s Other segment declined year over year on a reported basis. Ecolab operates in highly-competitive Chemical Specialty markets. Dull outlook for the Energy segment is a headwind. Factors like unfavorable pricing, margin pressures and competition are behind the dull outlook. The company lowered guidance for 2018.”
  • 11/13/2018 – Ecolab had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks Investment Research. According to Zacks, “Ecolab ended the third quarter on a dull note, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings and revenues. Despite strength in the Pest Elimination business and Colloidal technologies, the Other segment declined year over year on a reported basis. Ecolab operates in highly-competitive Chemical Specialty markets, which might dull prospects over the long haul. Lackluster outlook for the Energy segment is a headwind. The company lowered guidance for 2018. However, Ecolab has undertaken a cost-efficiency initiative that is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Europe, North America and Latin America drove Global Industrial regional growth in the quarter. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is also a positive. Robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base are likely to drive organic sales in the quarters ahead.”
  • 11/5/2018 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from $150.00 to $162.00. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 11/1/2018 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from $151.00 to $159.00. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 10/31/2018 – Ecolab was upgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating. They now have a $157.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $147.00.
  • 10/24/2018 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Barclays PLC from $150.00 to $165.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 10/23/2018 – Ecolab is now covered by analysts at Bank of America Corp. They set a “buy” rating and a $123.00 price target on the stock.
  • 10/16/2018 – Ecolab had its price target lowered by analysts at Nomura from $153.00 to $150.00. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 10/11/2018 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Ecolab’s stock has outperformed its industry in a year's time. A strong guidance instills optimism on the stock. Ecolab has also undertaken a cost-efficiency initiative that is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Strong prospects in Global Industrial segment buoy optimism. Europe, North America and Latin America have been driving Global Industrial regional growth. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is also a positive. Robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base are likely to drive organic sales. Despite strength in the Pest Elimination business, the Other segment declined year over year on a reported basis in the last quarter. Ecolab operates in highly competitive markets, which might mar prospects over the long haul. Ecolab faces pricing pressure in the Energy segment, which is likely to hurt profits.”
  • 10/10/2018 – Ecolab was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $176.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Ecolab’s stock has outperformed its industry in a year's time. A strong guidance instills optimism on the stock. Ecolab has also undertaken a cost-efficiency initiative that is expected to result in approximately $200 million of SG&A savings by 2021. Strong prospects in Global Industrial segment buoy optimism. Europe, North America and Latin America have been driving Global Industrial regional growth. Strength in the Global Institutional segment led by growth in the Specialty and Healthcare business lines is also a positive. Robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base are likely to drive organic sales. Despite strength in the Pest Elimination business, the Other segment declined year over year on a reported basis in the last quarter. Ecolab operates in highly competitive markets, which might mar prospects over the long haul. Ecolab faces pricing pressure in the Energy segment, which is likely to hurt profits.”

Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $159.52 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $46.36 billion, a PE ratio of 34.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.88. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $125.74 and a 1 year high of $162.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.53. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 19.13%. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.37 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total transaction of $450,884.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at $9,277,856.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total transaction of $6,412,005.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 558,017 shares in the company, valued at $89,394,323.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 94,421 shares of company stock worth $14,848,343. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Ecolab during the third quarter worth about $107,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter worth about $110,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. raised its position in Ecolab by 487.7% in the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 712 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $139,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware bought a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter worth about $147,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.91% 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.

See Also: Coverage Ratio

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