Wall Street analysts expect Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) to post earnings per share (EPS) of $1.68 for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Six analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.52 and the highest is $1.74. Ecolab reported earnings per share of $1.54 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 9.1%. The company is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Tuesday, February 18th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full-year earnings of $5.86 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.82 to $5.90. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report earnings of $6.47 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.00 to $6.61. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 10.27%. The firm had revenue of $3.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.89 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.53 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

ECL has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, January 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Ecolab from $186.00 to $192.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, December 20th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $200.17.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 3,065.2% in the third quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. now owns 4,463 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $884,000 after acquiring an additional 4,322 shares in the last quarter. Cibc Bank USA boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 9.1% in the third quarter. Cibc Bank USA now owns 2,239 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $443,000 after acquiring an additional 186 shares in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter worth $174,000. Puzo Michael J boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 11.4% in the third quarter. Puzo Michael J now owns 2,450 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $486,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter worth $514,000. 74.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of ECL traded up $0.91 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $197.31. 21,916 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 872,596. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Ecolab has a 1 year low of $151.18 and a 1 year high of $209.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $56.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.93, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.80. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $189.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $194.82.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 17th were paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.95%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.81%.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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