Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Sells 49,746 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) by 2.9% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,661,277 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 49,746 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. owned about 0.58% of Ecolab worth $389,719,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. Rational Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Ecolab by 133.3% during the fourth quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 105 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $25,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter valued at about $28,000. Finally, Retirement Planning Co of New England Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $28,000. Institutional investors own 75.04% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently commented on ECL. Mizuho decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $210.00 to $198.00 in a research report on Wednesday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $191.00 to $190.00 in a research report on Wednesday, April 27th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $255.00 to $215.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 16th. Barclays decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $215.00 to $185.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 11th. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut their price target on shares of Ecolab from $225.00 to $198.00 in a report on Friday, January 21st. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $205.40.

ECL stock traded up $2.26 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $161.99. The stock had a trading volume of 817,246 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,313,447. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $172.63 and its 200 day simple moving average is $198.58. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16. The company has a market cap of $46.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $154.85 and a 52-week high of $238.93.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECLGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The basic materials company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.82. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.35% and a net margin of 8.45%. The business had revenue of $3.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.19 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.2 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 17th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.26%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 53.13%.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Ettinger acquired 5,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 17th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $179.39 per share, for a total transaction of $896,950.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director David Maclennan bought 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 5th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $171.01 per share, with a total value of $102,606.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,351 shares in the company, valued at $1,941,134.51. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders purchased 7,075 shares of company stock worth $1,250,306. 1.04% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Ecolab (Get Rating)

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional & Specialty, and Global Healthcare & Life Sciences segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions to manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, commercial laundry, petroleum, refining, and petrochemical industries.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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