Northstar Group Inc. raised its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 126.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 7,540 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 4,215 shares during the period. Northstar Group Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,001,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised 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 worth $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised 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 worth $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised 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 worth $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 worth about $59,389,000. Finally, AXA raised 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 worth $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the period. 75.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 1.15% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $130.84. The stock had a trading volume of 209,535 shares. The stock has a market cap of $37.86 billion, a PE ratio of 29.91 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $132.30 and a 200 day moving average of $127.71.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal 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 dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.

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ECL has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, May 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.43.

In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 in the last ninety days. Company 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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