WMS Partners LLC lessened its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.0% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 200,190 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 14 shares during the quarter. Ecolab comprises approximately 3.3% of WMS Partners LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 6th biggest holding. WMS Partners LLC owned approximately 0.07% of Ecolab worth $26,575,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1,934.2% in the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 62,735 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,328,000 after purchasing an additional 59,651 shares during the last quarter. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. now owns 118,500 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $15,731,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $133,000. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 3,123 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $415,000 after purchasing an additional 47 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 10.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. now owns 12,545 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,665,000 after purchasing an additional 1,190 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.54% of the company’s stock.

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A number of brokerages have weighed in on ECL. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price target (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $134.07.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 129.83 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The company’s 50-day moving average is $131.58 and its 200 day moving average is $129.28. The stock has a market cap of $37.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.77 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced 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. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Ecolab

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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