Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by equities research analysts at Jefferies Group in a report issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $125.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 7.62% from the company’s current price.

ECL has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Stifel Nicolaus cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday. Finally, Nomura upped their target price on Ecolab from $94.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “reduce” rating in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $126.57.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 116.15 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $116.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $118.69. The firm has a market cap of $33.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.29 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $98.62 and a 52-week high of $124.60.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.08% and a net margin of 8.11%. The business earned $3.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.49 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Ecolab will post $4.41 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 17,761 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.90, for a total value of $2,200,587.90. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 61,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,600,273.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total value of $3,158,178.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 456,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $55,861,681.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 154.9% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 1,290 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 784 shares during the period. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth approximately $166,000. Coconut Grove Bank increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 6.5% in the third quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 1,473 shares of the company’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 11.9% in the third quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,481 shares of the company’s stock worth $180,000 after buying an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bartlett & Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% in the second quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the company’s stock worth $186,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. 74.90% 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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