FIL Ltd lessened its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 6.3% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 144,228 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 9,655 shares during the period. FIL Ltd’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $19,146,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at about $117,000. Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares during the period. 75.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 131.33 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.00 billion, a PE ratio of 30.03 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $131.25 and a 200 day moving average of $129.52.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.

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In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on ECL shares. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.93.

Ecolab 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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