M. Kraus & Co cut its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 36,132 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 25 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up about 3.0% of M. Kraus & Co’s holdings, making the stock its 18th largest position. M. Kraus & Co’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $4,797,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of ECL. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC boosted its position in Ecolab by 3.2% in the first quarter. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC now owns 6,384 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $800,000 after buying an additional 195 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $134,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Ecolab by 269.4% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 191,189 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $23,964,000 after buying an additional 139,434 shares in the last quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC boosted its position in Ecolab by 5.7% in the first quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC now owns 286,445 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $34,155,000 after buying an additional 15,419 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bell Bank boosted its position in Ecolab by 6.7% in the first quarter. Bell Bank now owns 4,706 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $590,000 after buying an additional 297 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.20% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $131.69. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 165,240 shares. The firm has a market cap of $38.16 billion, a PE ratio of 30.11 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The company has a 50-day moving average of $132.62 and a 200-day moving average of $127.25.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

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A number of research firms recently issued reports on ECL. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price target (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity lifted their price target 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 stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.43.

In other news, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total transaction of $1,798,810.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the 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 disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 over the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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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