Wells Fargo & Company MN decreased its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 12.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,877,479 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 418,565 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned approximately 0.99% of Ecolab worth $381,986,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Eaton Vance Management grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 34.3% in the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,481,329 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $196,646,000 after purchasing an additional 378,019 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 39.7% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 10,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 3,007 shares during the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 13.9% in the second quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 15,162 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,002,000 after purchasing an additional 1,846 shares during the last quarter. Tredje AP fonden grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 22.6% in the second quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 35,457 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $4,720,000 after purchasing an additional 6,530 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dearborn Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 1.5% in the second quarter. Dearborn Partners LLC now owns 17,490 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,322,000 after purchasing an additional 263 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.54% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price target (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.

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Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 129.42 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $37.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.59 and a beta of 0.99. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $131.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $129.32. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. 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 payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Ecolab 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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