Zions Bancorporation boosted its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 21.0% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 16,422 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,851 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,112,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased 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 purchasing an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased 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 purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $133,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.98% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down $0.59 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $135.33. 857,333 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,123,324. The company has a current ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $116.92 and a one year high of $137.96. The stock has a market cap of $39,098.73, a PE ratio of 29.74, a P/E/G ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 1.05.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 18th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.21%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.26%.

In related news, Director David Maclennan purchased 450 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $131.77 per share, with a total value of $59,296.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,514 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $199,499.78. The purchase 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 stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was 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 have sold 64,843 shares of company stock worth $8,852,577 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. UBS upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $136.86.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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