Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1,547.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 32,322 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 30,360 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for about 3.3% of Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest position. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,724,000 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. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans grew its stake in Ecolab by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 11,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,672,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in Ecolab by 15.8% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 477,737 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $61,579,000 after purchasing an additional 65,300 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan bought a new position in Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,014,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. grew its stake in Ecolab by 31.1% in the fourth quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 245,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $35,399,000 after purchasing an additional 58,182 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 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. 76.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 37,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.08, for a total transaction of $6,289,776.00. Following the completion of the sale, 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 SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director David Maclennan acquired 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $171.05 per share, with a total value of $171,050.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 2,519 shares in the company, valued at approximately $430,874.95. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 335,758 shares of company stock valued at $57,738,346. Company insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.
NYSE ECL traded up $0.59 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $183.74. 900,900 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,014,591. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $135.77 and a 52 week high of $186.34. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $52.16 billion, a PE ratio of 35.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 0.89.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.57 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.91 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 17th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.00%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.05%.
Several brokerages recently issued reports on ECL. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on Ecolab from $186.00 to $198.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 target price (up previously from $178.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Nomura raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $170.00 to $210.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $180.93.
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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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