Instinet reaffirmed their neutral rating on shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. Instinet currently has a $117.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock, down from their previous target price of $120.00.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ECL. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $133.93.

Ecolab (NYSE ECL) opened at 129.74 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $37.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.66 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $131.53 and a 200 day moving average of $129.28.

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 Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post $4.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.79%.

In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its holdings in Ecolab by 60.0% during the 1st quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $106,000. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. 75.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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