Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-one brokerages that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, fourteen have assigned a hold recommendation and four have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $201.57.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on ECL shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $207.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 30th. Barclays increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $225.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 8th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $170.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 23rd. Argus increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $215.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $172.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 28th.
NYSE ECL traded down $6.17 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $216.96. The company had a trading volume of 1,004,812 shares, compared to its average volume of 951,831. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a current ratio of 1.61. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $124.60 and a 1-year high of $231.36. The company has a market cap of $61.93 billion, a PE ratio of -58.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 1.03. The business has a 50 day moving average of $220.00 and a 200-day moving average of $205.41.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.99%.
In other Ecolab news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 148,107 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.48, for a total value of $32,654,631.36. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 683,631 shares in the company, valued at approximately $150,726,962.88. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael C. Mccormick sold 7,647 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Friday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.16, for a total transaction of $1,522,976.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 65,659 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,076,646.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 199,572 shares of company stock worth $43,964,233. 1.22% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. RNC Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at $216,000. Raymond James Trust N.A. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.1% during the 4th quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 16,638 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,600,000 after acquiring an additional 803 shares in the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 17.2% during the 4th quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 24,892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $5,386,000 after acquiring an additional 3,656 shares in the last quarter. M. Kraus & Co lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. M. Kraus & Co now owns 38,481 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,326,000 after acquiring an additional 606 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the 4th quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 16,062 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $3,475,000 after acquiring an additional 741 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.72% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. Its 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, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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