Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) have received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the sixteen brokerages that are presently covering the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and ten have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $129.58.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $120.00 to $129.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $126.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $120.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd.

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Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 116.41 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $33.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.36 and a beta of 0.89. The company’s 50-day moving average is $115.24 and its 200 day moving average is $118.72. Ecolab has a one year low of $98.62 and a one year high of $124.60.

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

In other Ecolab news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,475 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,984,682.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $694,000. Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 88,436 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,862,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 2.4% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 12,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,373,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 176,853 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,721,000 after buying an additional 451 shares during the period. Finally, SevenBridge Financial Group LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $250,000. Institutional investors own 74.26% of the company’s stock.

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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