Insider Buying: Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Major Shareholder Buys 694,343 Shares of Stock
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 694,343 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.10 per share, with a total value of $91,722,710.30. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Major shareholders that own at least 10% of a company’s shares are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at $134.91 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $122.58 and a fifty-two week high of $140.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $39,140.00, a PE ratio of 29.39, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.07.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.25 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,108,380,000 after purchasing an additional 226,031 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,745,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $770,976,000 after purchasing an additional 207,345 shares during the last quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,842,375 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $515,570,000 after purchasing an additional 73,309 shares during the last quarter. Edgewood Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 3,503,447 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $450,578,000 after purchasing an additional 30,773 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,796,556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,243,000 after purchasing an additional 34,370 shares during the last quarter. 77.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research analysts recently commented on ECL shares. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, January 29th. Citigroup downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, January 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.88.
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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.
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