Ecolab (ECL) Cut to Market Perform at Citigroup

Citigroup lowered shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, The Fly reports. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on ECL. Nomura restated a hold rating and issued a $146.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research restated a sell rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, November 13th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Boenning Scattergood restated a buy rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, November 5th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $154.47.

ECL opened at $153.24 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $44.78 billion, a PE ratio of 32.67, a PEG ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.90. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $160.66.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.53. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.37 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Ecolab will post 5.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 32,468 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.80, for a total value of $5,058,514.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total value of $6,412,005.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 558,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 112,110 shares of company stock valued at $17,473,320. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Colony Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth $211,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth $26,888,000. M Holdings Securities Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 8,116 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,139,000 after purchasing an additional 706 shares in the last quarter. Gardiner Nancy B bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth $523,000. Finally, Landmark Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth $1,195,000. 76.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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