Fayerweather Charles cut its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 9.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 2,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 200 shares during the period. Fayerweather Charles’ holdings in Ecolab were worth $266,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $59,389,000. Finally, AXA increased its position in Ecolab by 38.6% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the last quarter. 75.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.32% during trading on Friday, reaching $129.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 618,651 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $132.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $127.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The company had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.79%.

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Several equities analysts recently weighed in on ECL shares. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $133.43.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 in the last quarter. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Company 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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