Somerset Group LLC continued to hold its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 3,760 shares of the basic materials company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Somerset Group LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $499,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its stake in Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. 75.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 130.98 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $131.81 and a 200-day moving average of $128.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The firm has a market cap of $37.90 billion, a PE ratio of 29.95 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. Analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared 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 is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.79%.

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Several research firms recently commented on ECL. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $133.57.

In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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