Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) Sets New 12-Month High at $200.44

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $200.44 and last traded at $199.29, with a volume of 8240 shares. The stock had previously closed at $198.75.

ECL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Edward Jones downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $157.00 to $167.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $154.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $180.93.

The stock has a market cap of $57.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.65, a PEG ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.83. The company has a quick ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. On average, research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

In other news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 9,975 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.01, for a total transaction of $1,945,224.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 49,164 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,587,471.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total value of $2,022,924.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 34,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,045,403.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 149,145 shares of company stock valued at $26,628,601. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Belpointe Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Ecolab by 7.5% during the first quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 3,424 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $604,000 after purchasing an additional 238 shares during the last quarter. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Ecolab by 7.9% during the first quarter. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC now owns 3,675 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $648,000 after purchasing an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 1.1% during the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 76,178 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,448,000 after purchasing an additional 844 shares during the last quarter. GYL Financial Synergies LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth approximately $213,000. Finally, Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth approximately $212,000. 75.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ecolab Company Profile (NYSE:ECL)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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