Bridges Investment Management Inc. lessened its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 40,383 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,330 shares during the quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,194,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 4.8% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $106,000. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Ecolab by 4.9% in the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the first quarter valued at $117,000. Institutional investors own 75.39% of the company’s stock.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 1.09% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $132.98. 601,995 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $131.22 and a 200 day moving average price of $130.40. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $38.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.40 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 EPS. The company’s quarterly 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 year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th were issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.79%.

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Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and issued a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $134.21.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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