Paloma Partners Management Co increased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 288.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 25,903 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 19,228 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,247,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 5.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 69,206 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $8,674,000 after buying an additional 3,796 shares in the last quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.6% in the first quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 6,437 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $809,000 after buying an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. Soros Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $1,065,000. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at about $298,000. Institutional investors own 75.79% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 132.90 on Wednesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $132.94 and its 200-day moving average is $126.39. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The company has a market cap of $38.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.40 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.16 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.96% and a net margin of 9.47%. Ecolab’s revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.77 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 20th were issued 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 payout ratio is 34.91%.

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

In related news, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total value of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,916,645.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total transaction of $1,798,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

About Ecolab

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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