Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Investment analysts at William Blair lowered their FY2019 EPS estimates for shares of Ecolab in a research note issued on Tuesday, February 5th. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now expects that the basic materials company will earn $5.93 per share for the year, down from their previous forecast of $5.98.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on ECL. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Nomura lowered their target price on Ecolab from $153.00 to $150.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. Bank of America started coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $123.00 target price for the company. Barclays raised their target price on Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $147.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $159.36.

Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $159.17 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $45.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $125.74 and a 52-week high of $162.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.90.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Ecolab by 2.5% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,846,328 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $603,026,000 after purchasing an additional 93,640 shares during the period. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 5.0% in the third quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 2,106 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $330,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 4.9% in the third quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 50,452 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,910,000 after purchasing an additional 2,356 shares during the period. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. increased its position in Ecolab by 31.1% in the fourth quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 245,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $35,399,000 after purchasing an additional 58,182 shares during the period. Finally, Pratt Collard Advisory Partners LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Pratt Collard Advisory Partners LLC now owns 11,526 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,698,000 after purchasing an additional 1,720 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.95% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total value of $450,884.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at $9,277,856.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.16%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 39.23%.

About Ecolab

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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