S&CO Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.5% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 234,643 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 1,065 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up approximately 4.1% of S&CO Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 3rd largest position. S&CO Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $31,149,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $134,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 269.4% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 191,189 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $23,964,000 after buying an additional 139,434 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares during the period. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.6% in the first quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 112,954 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,581,000 after buying an additional 649 shares during the period. Finally, Bell Bank boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 6.7% in the first quarter. Bell Bank now owns 4,706 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $590,000 after buying an additional 297 shares during the period. 75.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 130.11 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $132.07 and its 200 day moving average is $128.14. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.65 billion, a PE ratio of 29.75 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given 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 payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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ECL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 price objective (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price objective for the company. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $134.20.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,191,265.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, 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 transaction of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 44,466 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802 in the last ninety days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate 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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