Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 276,295 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 1,010 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up about 2.2% of Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC owned 0.10% of Ecolab worth $36,678,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake 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 valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $59,389,000. Finally, AXA raised its stake in Ecolab by 38.6% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares in the last quarter. 75.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 130.87 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $37.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.92 and a beta of 0.98. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $131.81 and its 200-day moving average price is $128.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89.

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

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

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Several research firms recently issued reports on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.57.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total transaction of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,916,645.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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