Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) in the last few weeks:

  • 8/8/2017 – Ecolab had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at UBS AG. They now have a $147.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $144.00.
  • 8/3/2017 – Ecolab had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. They now have a $130.00 price target on the stock.
  • 8/3/2017 – Ecolab was given a new $128.00 price target on by analysts at Credit Suisse Group. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 8/2/2017 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from $132.00 to $134.00. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 8/2/2017 – Ecolab had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at UBS AG. They now have a $147.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $144.00.
  • 7/28/2017 – Ecolab had its price target raised by analysts at Canaccord Genuity from $135.00 to $145.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 7/27/2017 – Ecolab was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Over the last six months Ecolab outperformed the broader industry trends in terms of price movements. Furthermore, an upbeat outlook for 2018 instills our confidence. We believe a robust product portfolio and an expanding customer base will drive Ecolab organic sales over the long haul. In fact, the realization of targeted synergies associated with acquisitions should also pave way for margin expansion. Ecolab expects its water, food and beverage, and paper businesses to benefit in the near term. On the flipside, Ecolab operates in highly competitive markets, which might dent its prospects over the long haul. We believe volatility in foreign currency exchange rates will remain a significant headwind for the company. Ecolab faces pricing pressure in the Energy segment which is likely to hurt profits. The company exited the first quarter of 2017 on a disappointing note, missing the Zacks consensus earnings estimate.”

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 1.61% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $130.23. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 770,269 shares. The stock has a market cap of $37.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.77 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $132.30 and a 200-day moving average of $127.71.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued 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 firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The company’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In related news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 $5,391,879.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible 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 shares were purchased 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. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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