Canaccord Genuity reiterated their buy rating on shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) in a research report report published on Monday morning. They currently have a $145.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on ECL. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Ecolab from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and raised their price objective for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued 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 cut Ecolab from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, UBS AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $147.00 price objective (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $133.93.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE ECL) opened at 129.42 on Monday. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $131.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $129.32. The company has a market cap of $37.45 billion, a PE ratio of 29.59 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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 return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend 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 (DPR) is currently 33.79%.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 60.0% during the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 4.8% during the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the second quarter worth $106,000. JNBA Financial Advisors lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 2.5% during the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the period. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% during the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.54% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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