Payden & Rygel continued to hold its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 900 shares of the basic materials company’s stock at the close of the second quarter. Payden & Rygel’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $119,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its holdings in Ecolab by 60.0% in 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 during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% in 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 during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.5% in 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 during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its holdings in Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. 75.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have commented on the company. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price target on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.05 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a PE ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.99. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $131.31 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.38. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share 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 company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 1.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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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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