Ativo Capital Management LLC trimmed its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 14.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 11,600 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,000 shares during the period. Ativo Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $1,540,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co grew its position in 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 during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors grew its position in 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 during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth about $117,000. Finally, Atwood & Palmer Inc. grew its position in 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 during the period. 75.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 75,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was 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. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 130.75 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.89 and a beta of 0.99. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $131.25 and its 200 day moving average is $129.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.74 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid 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 dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.79%.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub downgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. Instinet reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG increased their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $133.93.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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