Prudential PLC held its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 1,753 shares of the basic materials company’s stock at the close of the second quarter. Prudential PLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $233,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Courier Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth $282,000. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 21.3% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,134 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $283,000 after buying an additional 375 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 18,332 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,434,000 after buying an additional 822 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares in the last quarter. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 112,954 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,581,000 after buying an additional 649 shares in the last quarter. 75.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 134.09 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $131.21 and its 200-day moving average price is $130.32. The company has a market cap of $38.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.66 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.73 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed 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 1.10%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.79%.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub cut Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Thursday. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Two research analysts have 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 currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $134.21.

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In related news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 75,500 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total value of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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