Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH trimmed its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 6.4% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 21,201 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,445 shares during the period. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,814,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% during 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 in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% during 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 in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth approximately $117,000. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% during 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% during 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 in the last quarter. 75.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 131.05 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $110.65 and a one year high of $134.89. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $131.31 and a 200-day moving average of $129.38. The firm has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.99.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm 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 company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.08 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date 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%.

ECL has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. 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. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Canaccord Genuity lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Ecolab from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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