Somerville Kurt F lowered its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 80 shares during the period. Somerville Kurt F’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $265,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake 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 valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake 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 valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake 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 valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $59,389,000. Finally, AXA boosted its stake 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 valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares during the last quarter. 75.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.0342% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $130.1855. 258,171 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $132.25 and its 200-day moving average is $127.73. The company has a market cap of $37.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.7635 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.79%.

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Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Canaccord Genuity increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.43.

In other 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,466 shares in the company, valued at $5,916,645.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361. 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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