Albert D Mason Inc. cut its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 3,435 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 30 shares during the period. Albert D Mason Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $456,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,454,223 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 2,154.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,032,404 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its stake in Ecolab by 6.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 5,012,431 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $628,258,000 after buying an additional 320,253 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Ecolab by 19.3% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,555,051 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $131.75. 228,133 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $38.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.12 and a beta of 0.98. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $132.62 and a 200-day moving average of $127.25. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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A number of equities research analysts recently commented on ECL shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.43.

In related 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 value of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 over the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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