Leavell Investment Management Inc. held its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 8,900 shares of the basic materials company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Leavell Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,181,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth $134,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.32% on Friday, hitting $129.81. 618,651 shares of the stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $132.19 and its 200-day moving average price is $127.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $110.65 and a 52-week high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $37.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98.

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

The business also recently declared 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 1.14%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on ECL. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note 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’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $133.43.

In other Ecolab 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 value of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on 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 quarter, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by 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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