YHB Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.4% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 113,444 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 470 shares during the quarter. Ecolab comprises about 2.6% of YHB Investment Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest position. YHB Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $15,222,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of ECL. Rench Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% during the second quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 3,004 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $399,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% during the second quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 2,836 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.8% during the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 4,311 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $572,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of 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 buying an additional 35 shares during the period. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in shares of 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 buying an additional 38 shares during the period. 76.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. Barclays boosted their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. UBS Group boosted their target price on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Jefferies Group boosted their price target on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $137.21.

In related news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.09, for a total value of $2,467,620.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 427,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $58,612,555.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 19,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.54, for a total transaction of $2,654,522.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 43,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,950,255.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 in the last three months. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded up $0.65 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $137.68. The company had a trading volume of 1,266,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,019,544. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $39,750.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $117.55 and a 12-month high of $138.12.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.28 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be paid a $0.41 dividend. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.19%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.33%.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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