Level Four Advisory Services LLC decreased its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 41.7% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 3,949 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,821 shares during the quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $493,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. 75.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.57% on Wednesday, hitting $131.83. The company had a trading volume of 212,044 shares. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.14 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $131.22 and a 200 day moving average price of $130.40.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

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

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on ECL shares. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, September 11th. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target for the company. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $134.21.

About Ecolab

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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