Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 30.0% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,336 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $557,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. Atwood & Palmer Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $118,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $133,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.98% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently commented on ECL. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. UBS lifted their target price on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays lifted their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group lifted their target price on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $136.86.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at $134.85 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,908.09, a P/E ratio of 29.60, a P/E/G ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 1.23. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $116.92 and a fifty-two week high of $137.96.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion during 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 company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.26%.

In other Ecolab news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.09, for a total value of $2,467,620.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 427,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $58,612,555.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Daniel J. Schmechel sold 1,708 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.30, for a total value of $232,800.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 64,843 shares of company stock valued at $8,852,577 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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