Eastern Bank decreased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 19,479 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 8 shares during the period. Eastern Bank’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,586,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. 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. 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. State Street Corp raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its stake in Ecolab by 6.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $628,258,000 after buying an additional 320,253 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 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. 75.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

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

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

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Several equities research analysts recently commented on ECL shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.87.

In related news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 over the last quarter. 1.49% of the stock is 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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