OLD National Bancorp IN decreased its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 6.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 16,405 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,044 shares during the period. OLD National Bancorp IN’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,178,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in 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 valued at $1,884,161,000 after buying an additional 14,365,723 shares in the last quarter. 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 valued at $2,563,731,000 after buying an additional 1,044,370 shares in the last quarter. 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 valued at $445,590,000 after buying an additional 574,200 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at 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 valued at $176,247,000 after buying an additional 391,686 shares in the last quarter. 75.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on ECL. 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 company 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 company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.43.

In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 44,810 shares of company stock valued at $5,897,361 over the last three months. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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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