Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $124.11 and last traded at $122.96, with a volume of 443,144 shares. The stock had previously closed at $122.80.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on ECL shares. Nomura raised their price objective on Ecolab from $94.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “reduce” rating in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Ecolab from $117.00 to $127.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $126.74.

The stock has a market capitalization of $35.87 billion and a P/E ratio of 38.58. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $121.07 and its 200 day moving average price is $115.15.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.08 earnings per share. The firm earned $3.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.33 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.43 EPS for the current year.

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

In other news, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 25,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.41, for a total value of $3,158,178.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 456,349 shares in the company, valued at $55,861,681.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 3,762 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.60, for a total value of $457,459.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 12,725 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,547,360. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 496,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $56,787,000 after buying an additional 20,246 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 691,105 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,049,000 after buying an additional 22,032 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 115,341 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,192,000 after buying an additional 2,560 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Ecolab by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 561,124 shares of the company’s stock worth $64,185,000 after buying an additional 26,231 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised 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 worth $1,312,000 after buying an additional 3,765 shares during the period.

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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