National Planning Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm acquired 1,823 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $224,000.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Bartlett & Co. LLC raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.0% in the second quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the company’s stock valued at $186,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 29.2% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $189,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Nichols & Pratt Advisers LLP MA acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at $205,000. Agran Libbie acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at $214,000. Finally, Savant Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter valued at $215,000. 74.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.43% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $117.83. 76,942 shares of the stock traded hands. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $98.62 and a 1-year high of $124.60. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $121.88 and a 200 day moving average of $116.71. The company has a market capitalization of $34.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.95 and a beta of 0.90.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.08. The firm had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.33 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.24% and a net margin of 7.20%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 16th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 43.89%.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Nomura dropped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $96.00 to $94.00 and set a “reduce” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $120.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $126.74.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 17,761 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.90, for a total transaction of $2,200,587.90. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 61,342 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,600,273.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total value of $3,158,178.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 456,349 shares in the company, valued at approximately $55,861,681.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. The Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. The Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units.

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