Bank of The West decreased its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 4.7% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,889 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 142 shares during the period. Bank of The West’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $510,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,641,721 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,452,158,000 after buying an additional 656,297 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,447,561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $655,348,000 after purchasing an additional 39,640 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 7.9% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,151,160 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $611,674,000 after purchasing an additional 304,832 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 14,455.4% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,084,837 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 4,056,773 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,177,693 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $468,233,000 after purchasing an additional 135,035 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.33% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, December 31st. Robert W. Baird set a $166.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $210.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Edward Jones lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 5th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $157.00 to $167.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $163.93.

In related news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 72,526 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.18, for a total transaction of $12,632,578.68. Following the sale, the insider now owns 184,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,187,418.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Angela M. Busch sold 3,027 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.26, for a total value of $521,431.02. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,907 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,256,919.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 303,489 shares of company stock worth $51,945,415 in the last three months. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $182.58 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $52.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.57, a P/E/G ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $183.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 1.27.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 19th. The basic materials company reported $1.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.76 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.44% and a net margin of 9.74%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.38 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 19th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.05%.

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Ecolab Company Profile

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

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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