Nisa Investment Advisors LLC decreased its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 115,521 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 581 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $15,336,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $59,389,000. Finally, AXA increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 38.6% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 1,406,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.71% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.20% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $132.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 44,894 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $132.95 and its 200 day moving average is $126.35. The firm has a market cap of $38.51 billion, a PE ratio of 31.37 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.96% and a net margin of 9.47%. The firm had revenue of $3.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.16 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, June 16th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.91%.

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Several research analysts recently weighed in on ECL shares. Nomura upgraded Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Instinet upgraded Ecolab from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $99.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Monday, April 3rd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $129.79.

In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total value of $3,080,472.06. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361 in the last quarter. 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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