Tuttle Tactical Management LLC cut its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 42.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,428 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,810 shares during the period. Tuttle Tactical Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $325,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 13,565.1% during the fourth quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 1,787,667 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $239,869,000 after buying an additional 1,774,585 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 55.9% during the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,159,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $289,764,000 after buying an additional 774,520 shares in the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 1,397.8% during the third quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 570,435 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $73,364,000 after buying an additional 532,349 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 475.4% during the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 548,104 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $70,492,000 after buying an additional 452,846 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Ecolab by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,108,380,000 after buying an additional 226,031 shares in the last quarter. 78.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at $134.12 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. The stock has a market cap of $39,406.06, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.07. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $122.58 and a twelve month high of $140.50.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.10% and a net margin of 10.90%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.25 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.22%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 31.91%.

ECL has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Robert W. Baird decreased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $140.76.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 491,499 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $136.83 per share, with a total value of $67,251,808.17. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 4,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.04, for a total transaction of $652,992.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,402 shares in the company, valued at $3,727,768.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders bought 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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About Ecolab

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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