Analysts Expect Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $3.21 Billion

Brokerages forecast that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) will announce $3.21 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Ecolab’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $3.26 billion and the lowest is $3.18 billion. Ecolab reported sales of $2.89 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 11.1%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report before the market opens on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $14.01 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $13.87 billion to $14.19 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will post sales of $14.83 billion, with estimates ranging from $14.35 billion to $15.15 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that follow Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 15th. The basic materials company reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.87% and a net margin of 8.87%. The business had revenue of $3.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.36 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.23 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Ecolab from $240.00 to $200.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 17th. Boenning Scattergood downgraded Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 15th. StockNews.com started coverage on Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $179.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 22nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Ecolab from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $230.00 to $191.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $206.27.

Shares of ECL stock opened at $180.17 on Thursday. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $176.27 and its 200-day simple moving average is $205.68. The company has a current ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $154.85 and a 1-year high of $238.93. The company has a market capitalization of $51.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.08, a P/E/G ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 1.09.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 14th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 52.17%.

In other news, Director Jeffrey M. Ettinger bought 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 17th. The shares were bought at an average price of $179.39 per share, for a total transaction of $896,950.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 1.04% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 126.7% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 3,498,336 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $746,614,000 after purchasing an additional 1,955,198 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth $337,443,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 8.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 18,885,247 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,430,288,000 after acquiring an additional 1,403,200 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 316.0% in the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,107,667 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $259,848,000 after acquiring an additional 841,377 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 45.2% in the 4th quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 2,617,347 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $614,003,000 after acquiring an additional 815,142 shares in the last quarter. 74.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ecolab (Get Rating)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.

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