First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Sells 978 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. lowered its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 8.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 11,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 978 shares during the period. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,204,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital Management Corp VA raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 3.9% during the second quarter. Capital Management Corp VA now owns 1,335 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $264,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Gamble Jones Investment Counsel raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.6% during the second quarter. Gamble Jones Investment Counsel now owns 8,072 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,594,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.6% during the second quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,195 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $433,000 after acquiring an additional 56 shares in the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the second quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 1,232 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $243,000 after acquiring an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pillar Pacific Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the second quarter. Pillar Pacific Capital Management LLC now owns 1,271 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $251,000 after acquiring an additional 59 shares in the last quarter. 75.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of ECL stock opened at $193.82 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $55.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.92, a PEG ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.81. The company’s 50 day moving average is $197.93 and its 200 day moving average is $193.40. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $135.77 and a 52-week high of $209.87.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 19.81%. The company had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th were issued a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 59,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,067,434.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Catelan Leanne purchased 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 14th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $1.16 per share, for a total transaction of $58,000.00. Insiders sold 66,358 shares of company stock worth $13,423,309 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on ECL shares. UBS Group set a $202.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Nomura lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Credit Suisse Group set a $181.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Thirteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $193.14.

About Ecolab

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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