Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 59.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 129,089 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 47,883 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $17,137,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Elkhorn Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter worth about $1,500,000. Glenview Trust Co raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 1.3% in the second quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 68,893 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $9,145,000 after acquiring an additional 879 shares during the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 34.4% in the second quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 36,879 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,896,000 after acquiring an additional 9,443 shares during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 13.2% in the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,057 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 15.9% in the second quarter. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC now owns 3,725 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $494,000 after acquiring an additional 512 shares during the last quarter. 75.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.93.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated 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 (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company 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 quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders 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 dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

Ecolab 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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