First Long Island Investors LLC reduced its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 6.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 84,124 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 6,048 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up 1.8% of First Long Island Investors LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 29th largest position. First Long Island Investors LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $10,544,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the last quarter. AXA raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 38.6% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the period. C WorldWide Group Holding A S raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 10.8% in the first quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,418,975 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $428,535,000 after buying an additional 333,261 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 25.9% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 980,742 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $122,926,000 after buying an additional 201,700 shares during the period. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 12.1% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,747,636 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $219,049,000 after buying an additional 188,993 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.84% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.21% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $132.62. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 899,457 shares. The stock has a market cap of $38.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.35 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $132.62 and a 200-day moving average of $127.25.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.97%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 33.79%.

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ECL has been the topic of several recent research reports. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, May 1st. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $132.50.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total transaction of $3,080,472.06. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 over the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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