Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $136.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.29% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “We believe that a robust product portfolio, new product launches and an expanding customer base will drive organic sales for Ecolab. In fact the realization of targeted synergies associated with acquisitions will help in margin expansion. The recent takeover offer for France-based Laboratoires Anios will expand Ecolab’s institutional customer base and service coverage, particularly in the healthcare, food service, and food & beverage processing industries. Moreover, it will strengthen the company’s footprint in the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Ecolab’s consistent delivery of considerable earnings growth despite the current challenging business environment continues to impress. The company also has a strengthened recurring revenue base, a major positive in our view. However, Ecolab’s full-year 2016 results are expected to be impacted by volatile foreign exchange.”
Several other analysts have also recently commented on ECL. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Nomura dropped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $96.00 to $94.00 and set a “reduce” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $117.00 to $127.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $127.25.
Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.95% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $119.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 480,838 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $121.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $118.13. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $98.62 and a 1-year high of $124.60. The stock has a market cap of $34.98 billion, a PE ratio of 37.62 and a beta of 0.87.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.08. The company earned $3.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.33 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 7.20% and a return on equity of 19.24%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. Analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 16th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.16%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 43.89%.
In other news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 17,761 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.90, for a total transaction of $2,200,587.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 61,342 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,600,273.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total transaction of $710,310.30. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 32,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,984,682.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Intermede Investment Partners Ltd increased its position in Ecolab by 2.1% in the second quarter. Intermede Investment Partners Ltd now owns 159,707 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,941,000 after buying an additional 3,235 shares in the last quarter. Compass Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.3% in the second quarter. Compass Capital Management Inc. now owns 175,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,859,000 after buying an additional 3,991 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.5% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,174,164 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,953,000 after buying an additional 17,795 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.8% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 37,520 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,450,000 after buying an additional 660 shares during the period. Finally, Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 22.0% in the second quarter. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. now owns 118,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,995,000 after buying an additional 21,300 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.80% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Company Profile
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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