Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Shares Bought by IFM Investors Pty Ltd

IFM Investors Pty Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 17.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 24,892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,656 shares during the quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,386,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of ECL. Hexavest Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Adams Wealth Management bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new position in Ecolab in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $30,000. Summit X LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Finally, Old North State Trust LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at $41,000. 65.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Elizabeth A. Simermeyer sold 515 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $221.38, for a total transaction of $114,010.70. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,827 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,732,741.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 148,107 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.48, for a total transaction of $32,654,631.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 683,631 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $150,726,962.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 199,572 shares of company stock worth $43,964,233. Corporate insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on ECL shares. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered their price target on Ecolab from $210.00 to $200.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 28th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $205.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 6th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Ecolab from $170.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, November 23rd. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 21st. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, December 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $201.57.

Ecolab stock opened at $216.96 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.19, a current ratio of 1.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $124.60 and a 12 month high of $231.36. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $220.00 and its 200-day simple moving average is $205.41. The stock has a market cap of $61.93 billion, a P/E ratio of -58.80, a P/E/G ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 1.03.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.03. Ecolab had a positive return on equity of 18.14% and a negative net margin of 8.21%. The firm had revenue of $3.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.52 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.88%. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 14th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 32.99%.

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. 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.

Recommended Story: What does cost of debt say about a company’s financial health?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding ECL? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

Receive News & Ratings for Ecolab Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ecolab and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.