IFM Investors Pty Ltd Acquires 3,656 Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL)


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IFM Investors Pty Ltd increased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 17.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 24,892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 3,656 shares during the quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $5,386,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of ECL. Hexavest Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. Adams Wealth Management acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 3rd quarter valued at $27,000. Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 3rd quarter valued at $30,000. Summit X LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter worth $40,000. Finally, Old North State Trust LLC bought a new position in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter worth $41,000. 65.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $216.96 on Thursday. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $124.60 and a 52-week high of $231.36. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $220.00 and a 200 day moving average of $205.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $61.93 billion, a PE ratio of -58.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a current ratio of 1.61.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.03. Ecolab had a negative net margin of 8.21% and a positive return on equity of 18.14%. The company had revenue of $3.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.52 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.88%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 32.99%.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Michael C. Mccormick sold 2,921 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $220.00, for a total transaction of $642,620.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 55,091 shares in the company, valued at $12,120,020. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael C. Mccormick sold 7,647 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.16, for a total transaction of $1,522,976.52. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 65,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,076,646.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 199,572 shares of company stock valued at $43,964,233. Company insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the subject of several research analyst reports. UBS Group lowered their price objective on Ecolab from $210.00 to $205.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $187.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 21st. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $207.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 30th. Finally, Barclays lifted their price target on Ecolab from $225.00 to $245.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $201.57.

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. Its 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, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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