Carroll Financial Associates Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 67.5% in the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 511 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 206 shares during the period. Carroll Financial Associates Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $90,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sowell Financial Services LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 3,824 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $564,000 after acquiring an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Rothschild Investment Corp IL now owns 1,450 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its holdings 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 valued at $31,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. now owns 3,296 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $486,000 after buying an additional 73 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Investment Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Investment Group LLC now owns 2,395 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $353,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. 76.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, CFO Daniel J. Schmechel sold 9,799 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $169.93, for a total transaction of $1,665,144.07. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 171,040 shares in the company, valued at $29,064,827.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 11,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.39, for a total transaction of $2,022,924.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 34,666 shares in the company, valued at $6,045,403.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 303,489 shares of company stock worth $51,945,415. Company insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab stock opened at $182.87 on Tuesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $135.77 and a 52-week high of $186.27. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. The stock has a market cap of $52.83 billion, a PE ratio of 34.83, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.89.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.54. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.74% and a return on equity of 19.44%. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.76 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.38 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 19th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 18th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.01%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.05%.

ECL has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Credit Suisse Group set a $154.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $210.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, Edward Jones cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $168.64.

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Ecolab 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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