Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total value of $450,884.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,277,856.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

Ecolab stock opened at $156.74 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $162.91. The firm has a market cap of $45.28 billion, a PE ratio of 33.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.88.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.53. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.37 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.25 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.17%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 34.97%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 84.9% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,752,688 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $526,615,000 after purchasing an additional 1,723,429 shares in the last quarter. Edgewood Management LLC raised its position in Ecolab by 19.7% in the 3rd quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 6,762,577 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,060,237,000 after purchasing an additional 1,111,893 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in Ecolab by 11,817.2% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,112,230 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $156,080,000 after purchasing an additional 1,102,897 shares during the period. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth about $147,206,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its position in Ecolab by 36.1% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,797,769 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $392,612,000 after purchasing an additional 742,376 shares during the period. 75.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research analysts have recently commented on ECL shares. Bank of America started coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $123.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. UBS Group boosted their price target on Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $154.47.

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Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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