Citizens Financial Group Inc RI trimmed its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 2.2% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 12,161 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 275 shares during the quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,615,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its position in Ecolab by 60.0% in 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 increased its position in Ecolab by 2.5% in 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. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 2.9% in 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. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the first quarter worth about $117,000. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $133,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.54% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.05 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $131.31 and a 200 day moving average price of $129.38. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on ECL shares. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub lowered Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their target price on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Instinet restated a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 target price (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. 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 has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.

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In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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