Capital Counsel LLC NY lessened its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 352,352 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 16,755 shares during the quarter. Ecolab makes up approximately 3.6% of Capital Counsel LLC NY’s holdings, making the stock its 11th largest holding. Capital Counsel LLC NY’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $72,574,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Blair William & Co. IL increased its holdings in Ecolab by 4.2% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 1,402,499 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $288,873,000 after buying an additional 56,714 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $2,984,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in Ecolab by 11.7% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 582,154 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $121,153,000 after buying an additional 60,764 shares in the last quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc increased its holdings in Ecolab by 24.7% in the second quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 5,826 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,202,000 after buying an additional 1,153 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Banque Pictet & Cie SA increased its holdings in Ecolab by 1.0% in the second quarter. Banque Pictet & Cie SA now owns 27,840 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,734,000 after buying an additional 274 shares in the last quarter. 72.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. Vertical Research started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday. They set a “hold” rating and a $189.00 target price for the company. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, September 2nd. They set an “outperform” rating and a $260.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Boenning Scattergood restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, September 15th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $228.64.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.04. Ecolab had a net margin of 8.66% and a return on equity of 20.14%. The firm had revenue of $3.16 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.11 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.65 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 13th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 47.76%.
In other Ecolab news, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 173,036 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $223.54, for a total value of $38,680,467.44. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 796,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $178,153,109.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Scott D. Kirkland sold 2,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $217.67, for a total transaction of $609,476.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 6,122 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,332,575.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 217,496 shares of company stock worth $48,541,441. Insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab, Inc engages in the provision of products and services in the field of water, hygiene, and energy. It operates through the following segments: Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, Global Energy & Life Science, and Other. The Global Industrial segment consists of the water, food and beverage, paper, and downstream operating segments.
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