Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the sixteen analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $198.08.

Several research firms recently commented on ECL. Nomura increased their price target on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. ValuEngine cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th.

In related news, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 12,678 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $198.09, for a total value of $2,511,385.02. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,061 shares in the company, valued at $4,171,973.49. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Catelan Leanne acquired 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 14th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $1.16 per share, with a total value of $58,000.00. Corporate insiders own 1.52% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ECL. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Ecolab by 251.6% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 7,383,606 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,457,819,000 after acquiring an additional 5,283,861 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 6,924.5% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,475,074 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $291,239,000 after buying an additional 1,454,075 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 3.4% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,657,493 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,486,296,000 after buying an additional 578,662 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,709,178 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,483,701,000 after buying an additional 419,611 shares during the period. Finally, Mirova boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 210.1% during the second quarter. Mirova now owns 536,148 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $105,857,000 after buying an additional 363,259 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.12% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:ECL opened at $185.16 on Tuesday. Ecolab has a one year low of $135.77 and a one year high of $209.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 1.24. The stock has a market cap of $53.81 billion, a PE ratio of 35.27, a P/E/G ratio of 2.56 and a beta of 0.80. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $190.05 and a 200 day moving average price of $194.93.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The basic materials company reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.71. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.08% and a net margin of 10.27%. The firm had revenue of $3.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.89 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.53 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Ecolab will post 5.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About Ecolab

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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