Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 192,419 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 5,972 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can owned about 0.07% of Ecolab worth $25,543,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Atria Investments LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 3,710 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $465,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $235,000. Prospera Financial Services Inc increased its stake in Ecolab by 16.0% in the first quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 2,242 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $281,000 after buying an additional 310 shares during the last quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY increased its stake in Ecolab by 1.4% in the first quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY now owns 292,461 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $36,546,000 after buying an additional 3,940 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First National Bank of Omaha increased its stake in Ecolab by 20.5% in the first quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 14,493 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,816,000 after buying an additional 2,468 shares during the last quarter. 75.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.27% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $131.59. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 145,019 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $132.62 and its 200-day moving average is $127.25. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.13 billion, a PE ratio of 30.08 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

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

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Several research firms have recently weighed in on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity boosted their target price on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $133.43.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.11, for a total value of $884,558.49. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 42,419 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,391,879.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361 in the last three months. 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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