Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Equities researchers at Jefferies Group lowered their FY2017 earnings estimates for shares of Ecolab in a report issued on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst L. Alexander now forecasts that the brokerage will post earnings per share of $4.95 for the year, down from their previous forecast of $5.10. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $125.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Ecolab’s FY2018 earnings at $5.55 EPS.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on ECL. Macquarie began coverage on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $143.00 target price for the company. Nomura lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $94.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “reduce” rating in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $118.00 to $126.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $117.00 to $127.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $126.57.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.41% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $115.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,062,783 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $116.75 and its 200 day moving average price is $118.69. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $98.62 and a 52 week high of $124.60. The firm has a market capitalization of $33.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.16 and a beta of 0.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.28 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28. The company earned $3.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.49 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.08% and a net margin of 8.11%. Ecolab’s revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.28 earnings per share.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 18,660,750 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,213,164,000 after buying an additional 253,958 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 6,926,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $843,106,000 after buying an additional 31,963 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,832,134 shares of the company’s stock worth $466,447,000 after buying an additional 97,676 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,159,687 shares of the company’s stock worth $384,598,000 after buying an additional 38,461 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CAM Group Holding A S boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.0% in the third quarter. CAM Group Holding A S now owns 3,138,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $382,038,000 after buying an additional 120,190 shares during the last quarter. 74.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total value of $710,310.30. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,984,682.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 17,761 shares of the company’s 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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 61,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,600,273.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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