American Capital Management Inc. cut its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 32.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 9,218 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 4,495 shares during the period. American Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,224,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 6.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $628,258,000 after buying an additional 320,253 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares in the last quarter. 75.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 131.15 on Wednesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $37.95 billion, a PE ratio of 29.98 and a beta of 0.98. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $132.16 and its 200-day moving average is $128.04.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.79%.

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A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.87.

In related news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.11, for a total transaction of $884,558.49. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 42,419 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,391,879.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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