Advisory Services Network LLC Reduces Stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Advisory Services Network LLC reduced its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLFree Report) by 2.9% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 13,094 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 389 shares during the quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,597,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. First Personal Financial Services bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 150.0% during the fourth quarter. Hexagon Capital Partners LLC now owns 135 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $27,000 after buying an additional 81 shares during the period. Motco bought a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at $28,000. Fortitude Family Office LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Finally, Operose Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth about $36,000. 74.91% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Insider Activity

In other news, Director David Maclennan acquired 650 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $227.37 per share, for a total transaction of $147,790.50. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 17,111 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,890,528.07. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other news, Director David Maclennan purchased 650 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $227.37 per share, with a total value of $147,790.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 17,111 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,890,528.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $227.52, for a total value of $1,023,840.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 25,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,812,680.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.50% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Price Performance

NYSE ECL opened at $234.31 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $66.91 billion, a PE ratio of 43.39, a P/E/G ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.09. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $156.72 and a 52-week high of $236.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.41. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $227.42 and its 200-day moving average price is $211.08.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.56% and a net margin of 10.01%. The business’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.88 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 6.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ecolab Dividend Announcement

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be given a dividend of $0.57 per share. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 42.22%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

ECL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, March 1st. They issued a “peer perform” rating on the stock. UBS Group raised their price target on Ecolab from $269.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st. Barclays raised Ecolab from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $225.00 to $260.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. Mizuho upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $216.00 to $260.00 in a research report on Friday, April 12th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $220.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $239.56.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on ECL

About Ecolab

(Free Report)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Global Industrial; Global Institutional & Specialty; and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences. 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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