Westwood Holdings Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm purchased 1,385 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $184,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 4.8% during 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 during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during 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 during the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Ecolab by 4.9% during 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 during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 2.9% during the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.39% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.52% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $131.89. The stock had a trading volume of 61,238 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $131.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $130.40. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $38.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.15 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

A number of research analysts have commented on ECL shares. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Nomura reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $134.21.

In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were 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. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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Ecolab 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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