Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $123.44 and last traded at $122.96, with a volume of 242,128 shares. The stock had previously closed at $122.25.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $120.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $120.00 to $129.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “in-line” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on Ecolab from $126.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $125.47.

The firm’s 50 day moving average is $119.64 and its 200 day moving average is $113.89. The company has a market capitalization of $35.83 billion and a PE ratio of 38.53.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.08. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. The company earned $3.32 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.33 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 16th.

In related news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 3,762 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.60, for a total transaction of $457,459.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 12,725 shares in the company, valued at $1,547,360. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 4,379 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.54, for a total value of $510,328.66. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,487 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,921,394.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 48.9% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,312,000 after buying an additional 3,765 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its stake in Ecolab by 159.7% in the fourth quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 18,932 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,165,000 after buying an additional 11,643 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 21,489 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,458,000 after buying an additional 237 shares in the last quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 52.5% in the fourth quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. now owns 32,860 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,759,000 after buying an additional 11,310 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its stake in Ecolab by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 35,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,034,000 after buying an additional 1,682 shares in the last quarter.

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. The Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. The Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units.

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