Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 16.9% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,970 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 430 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $399,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. MUFG Securities EMEA plc acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $6,843,000. Zevin Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.0% during the fourth quarter. Zevin Asset Management LLC now owns 37,785 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,070,000 after purchasing an additional 1,101 shares during the period. Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 8.8% during the fourth quarter. Patton Albertson Miller Group LLC now owns 12,004 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,611,000 after purchasing an additional 971 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 5.3% during the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 48,631 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $6,525,000 after acquiring an additional 2,448 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 19.5% during the fourth quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 2,934 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $394,000 after acquiring an additional 478 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.52% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CFO Daniel J. Schmechel sold 1,708 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.30, for a total transaction of $232,800.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total transaction of $46,765.19. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,026,273.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 over the last ninety days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on ECL shares. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.07.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at $129.34 on Wednesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $121.50 and a 52-week high of $140.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.83. The stock has a market cap of $37,370.00, a PE ratio of 29.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.06.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th were given a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.27%. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.33%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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