BTR Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 12,331 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 105 shares during the period. BTR Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,637,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. 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 valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the last quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 9 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 valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 2,530 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $317,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ironwood Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 1.2% in the first quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,689 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $337,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.32% on Friday, reaching $129.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 618,651 shares. The stock has a market cap of $37.56 billion, a PE ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $132.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $127.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89.

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

The company also recently disclosed 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 dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.

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Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Canaccord Genuity raised 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. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.43.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total value of $1,798,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361 over the last three months. Corporate 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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