Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday. They currently have $136.00 price target on the stock.
According to Zacks, “We believe that a robust product portfolio, new product launches and an expanding customer base will drive organic sales for Ecolab. In fact the realization of targeted synergies associated with acquisitions will help in margin expansion. The recent takeover offer for France-based Laboratoires Anios will expand Ecolab’s institutional customer base and service coverage, particularly in the healthcare, food service, and food & beverage processing industries. Moreover, it will strengthen the company’s footprint in the emerging markets of Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Ecolab’s consistent delivery of considerable earnings growth despite the current challenging business environment continues to impress. The company also has a strengthened recurring revenue base, a major positive in our view. However, Ecolab’s full-year 2016 results are expected to be impacted by volatile foreign exchange.”
Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a hold rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Nomura reduced their target price on shares of Ecolab from $96.00 to $94.00 and set a reduce rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Barclays PLC restated an overweight rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, July 1st. Macquarie initiated coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They issued an outperform rating and a $143.00 target price for the company. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a buy rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $127.68.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at 119.02 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $120.75 and a 200 day moving average of $118.32. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.32 and a beta of 0.87. Ecolab has a 12-month low of $98.62 and a 12-month high of $124.60.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08. Ecolab had a net margin of 7.20% and a return on equity of 19.24%. The company earned $3.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.33 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab will post $4.44 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 16th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.18%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.89%.
In related news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 17,761 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.90, for a total value of $2,200,587.90. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 61,342 shares in the company, valued at $7,600,273.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christophe Beck sold 5,789 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.70, for a total transaction of $710,310.30. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 32,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,984,682.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $166,000. Bartlett & Co. LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 2.0% in the second quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 1,568 shares of the company’s stock worth $186,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank increased its stake in Ecolab by 29.2% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,592 shares of the company’s stock worth $189,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $200,000. Finally, Nichols & Pratt Advisers LLP MA bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.80% of the company’s stock.
Ecolab Company Profile
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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