Intermede Investment Partners Ltd decreased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 9.9% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 232,499 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 25,441 shares during the period. Ecolab accounts for approximately 2.7% of Intermede Investment Partners Ltd’s portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. Intermede Investment Partners Ltd owned about 0.08% of Ecolab worth $45,905,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $28,000. Permanens Capital L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter worth about $26,000. Focused Wealth Management Inc acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $30,000. Advisory Alpha LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter worth about $28,000. Finally, Private Ocean LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the first quarter worth about $29,000. 75.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, EVP Laurie M. Marsh sold 6,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $182.04, for a total transaction of $1,146,852.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,583 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,200,809.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,181,659.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 95,650 shares of company stock valued at $18,898,540 in the last three months. 1.52% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.27 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 17th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.05%.
A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS Group set a $202.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura boosted their price target on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Citigroup boosted their price target on Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Argus boosted their price target on Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $191.07.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.
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