Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Equities research analysts at Seaport Global Securities reduced their FY2016 earnings estimates for shares of Ecolab in a report released on Monday. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Harrison now forecasts that the firm will post earnings of $4.37 per share for the year, down from their previous forecast of $4.41. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q4 2016 earnings at $1.26 EPS and Q2 2017 earnings at $1.19 EPS.

Several other brokerages have also commented on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. upped their price target on Ecolab from $120.00 to $129.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price target on Ecolab from $117.00 to $127.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on Ecolab from $118.00 to $126.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $127.68.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 116.60 on Tuesday. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $98.62 and a 12 month high of $124.60. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $119.64 and its 200 day moving average price is $118.67. The firm has a market cap of $34.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.56 and a beta of 0.87.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.08. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.24% and a net margin of 7.20%. The business had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.33 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.1% on a year-over-year basis.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th were paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 16th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 43.89%.

In other news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total transaction of $710,310.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 32,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,984,682.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total transaction of $3,158,178.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 456,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,861,681.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in Ecolab during the second quarter valued at about $93,773,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 70.6% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,440,869 shares of the company’s stock valued at $170,887,000 after buying an additional 596,322 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership increased its position in Ecolab by 126.1% in the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 778,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $92,335,000 after buying an additional 434,280 shares during the last quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 362.5% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 541,703 shares of the company’s stock valued at $64,246,000 after buying an additional 424,588 shares during the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 14.8% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,099,051 shares of the company’s stock valued at $345,606,000 after buying an additional 399,797 shares during the last quarter. 74.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ecolab

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ECL

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