Nuance Investments LLC Raises Holdings in Ecolab Inc. (ECL)
Nuance Investments LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 5.5% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,009 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,204 shares during the quarter. Nuance Investments LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,054,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its position in Ecolab by 60.0% during the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $117,000. Atwood & Palmer Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab by 2.9% during the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.53% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.12 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $131.63 and a 200-day moving average of $129.15. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.79 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.79%.
In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
ECL has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.57.
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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.
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