Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 39.7% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 10,581 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,007 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,403,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its position in Ecolab by 60.0% in the 1st quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its position in Ecolab by 2.5% in the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in Ecolab in the 1st quarter worth approximately $117,000. Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 892 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its position in Ecolab by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. 75.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In other 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 bought at an average price 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 accessible through the SEC website. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 131.01 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $37.91 billion, a PE ratio of 29.95 and a beta of 0.99. The company’s 50 day moving average is $131.34 and its 200-day moving average is $129.33. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.79%.

A number of research firms have commented on ECL. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 target price (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Instinet reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.93.

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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