Numeric Investors LLC decreased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 2.8% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 3,500 shares of the company’s stock after selling 100 shares during the period. Numeric Investors LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $410,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. IFM Investors Pty Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $394,000. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $102,066,000. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 10,661 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,250,000 after buying an additional 98 shares in the last quarter. Shepherd Financial Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $350,000. Finally, Cigna Investments Inc. New acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $1,139,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.09% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 125.13 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $123.09 and a 200 day moving average of $119.38. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $107.74 and a 12-month high of $126.17. The company has a market cap of $36.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.22 and a beta of 0.90.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 21st. The company reported $1.25 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.03. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.08% and a net margin of 8.11%. The company had revenue of $3.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.47 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.22 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 17th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 21st will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 17th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.18%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.11%.
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ECL has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 9th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 21st. Longbow Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Edward Jones upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 22nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $127.71.
In other Ecolab news, Director Jerry W. Levin sold 748 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.49, for a total transaction of $93,118.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 32,521 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,048,539.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director David Maclennan acquired 800 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $124.94 per share, with a total value of $99,952.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 925 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $115,569.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. The Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. The Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units.
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