O Brien Greene & Co. Inc grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.6% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 29,215 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 460 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for about 2.6% of O Brien Greene & Co. Inc’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 8th biggest position. O Brien Greene & Co. Inc’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,158,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,641,721 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,452,158,000 after purchasing an additional 656,297 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE grew its stake in Ecolab by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,447,561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $655,348,000 after purchasing an additional 39,640 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Ecolab by 7.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,151,160 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $611,674,000 after purchasing an additional 304,832 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its stake in Ecolab by 14,455.4% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 4,056,773 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Ecolab by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,177,693 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $468,233,000 after purchasing an additional 135,035 shares in the last quarter. 76.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on Ecolab from $186.00 to $198.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Argus increased their target price on Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Nomura dropped their target price on Ecolab from $210.00 to $208.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, UBS Group increased their target price on Ecolab from $186.00 to $191.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $180.93.
Shares of ECL traded up $0.59 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $183.74. 900,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,014,591. The firm has a market cap of $52.16 billion, a PE ratio of 35.00, a P/E/G ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $186.34.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.91 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast 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. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 17th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.00%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.05%.
In related news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 37,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.08, for a total value of $6,289,776.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 41,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,971,506.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jill S. Wyant sold 29,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.14, for a total value of $5,248,802.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 34,718 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,219,382.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 335,758 shares of company stock valued at $57,738,346 in the last 90 days. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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