Woodstock Corp lowered its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 4.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 63,491 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,790 shares during the period. Ecolab comprises 1.7% of Woodstock Corp’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 22nd largest position. Woodstock Corp’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $8,428,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 24,970 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,927,000 after buying an additional 1,880 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 11.4% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 186,447 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $23,370,000 after buying an additional 19,051 shares during the period. First National Bank of Omaha raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 20.5% in the first quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 14,493 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,816,000 after buying an additional 2,468 shares during the period. Parametrica Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at $235,000. Finally, Atria Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Ecolab by 5.4% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 3,710 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $465,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down 0.32% during trading on Friday, hitting $129.81. 618,651 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.56 billion, a P/E 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 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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

In other news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.11, for a total value of $884,558.49. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 42,419 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,391,879.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361. 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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