Comerica Securities Inc. cut its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 7,317 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 238 shares during the period. Comerica Securities Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,082,000 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 ECL. Tributary Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Ruggie Capital Group bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth about $30,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 50.7% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 214 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after acquiring an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth about $37,000. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth about $42,000. 77.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on ECL. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 5th. Finally, Oppenheimer reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $159.36.

Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $160.10 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $127.19 and a one year high of $162.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The company has a market cap of $46.07 billion, a PE ratio of 34.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.89.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 17th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.15%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 39.23%.

In other news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total transaction of $450,884.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,277,856.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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