Argus Investors Counsel Inc. raised its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 97.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,828 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,378 shares during the period. Argus Investors Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $953,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Permanens Capital L.P. acquired a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $26,000. Advisory Alpha LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Private Ocean LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth approximately $29,000. Liberty Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter worth approximately $27,000. Finally, CX Institutional increased its stake in Ecolab by 107.5% during the 1st quarter. CX Institutional now owns 220 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 114 shares during the period. 75.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on ECL shares. Nomura set a $42.00 target price on shares of General Motors and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Edward Jones downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of TMAC Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price target (up from $100.00) on shares of Zendesk in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $180.93.

Shares of NYSE ECL traded up $2.72 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $199.96. The stock had a trading volume of 594,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,076,459. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $195.90. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The company has a market capitalization of $56.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.68 and a beta of 0.84. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $135.77 and a twelve month high of $200.93.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.50% and a net margin of 10.06%. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.91 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.9 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 18th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

In other Ecolab news, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.25, for a total value of $298,875.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at $4,181,659.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $198.17, for a total value of $1,981,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 13,066 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,589,289.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 76,519 shares of company stock worth $14,253,673. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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. The 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, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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