Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 15.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,725 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 512 shares during the period. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $494,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors lifted its stake in Ecolab by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth about $117,000. Atwood & Palmer Inc. lifted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America lifted its stake in Ecolab by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after acquiring an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. 75.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded up 0.30% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $131.33. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 761,922 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $131.25 and its 200 day moving average is $129.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.03 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The company 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 previous year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.

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Several research firms recently issued reports on ECL. Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and set a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their target price on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.

In other Ecolab news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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