Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 2,918 put options on the company. This represents an increase of Infinity compared to the typical volume of 0 put options.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE ECL) opened at $131.38 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $37,957.56, a P/E ratio of 28.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 1.04.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.28 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 4.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.1% during the third quarter. GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. now owns 94,186 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $12,113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,013 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 19.0% during the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,540 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $327,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 10.5% during the third quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 24,812 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,191,000 after purchasing an additional 2,366 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 11.1% during the third quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 6,132 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $789,000 after purchasing an additional 614 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 3.2% during the third quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT now owns 47,504 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $6,110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,461 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub upgraded Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 target price (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $136.43.

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Ecolab Company 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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