Investec Asset Management LTD held its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 6,053 shares of the basic materials company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $804,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 269.4% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 191,189 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $23,964,000 after purchasing an additional 139,434 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 21.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,134 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $283,000 after buying an additional 375 shares during the last quarter. Courier Capital LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $282,000. State Street Corp grew its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares during the last quarter. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Ecolab by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 112,954 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $14,581,000 after buying an additional 649 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.42% of the company’s stock.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the firm’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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owned by insiders.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at 130.94 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 $131.25 and a 200-day moving average of $129.52. The company has a market capitalization of $37.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.94 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 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect 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 issued a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ECL shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated 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. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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