Robert W. Baird restated their hold rating on shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) in a research report released on Thursday morning. Robert W. Baird currently has a $140.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on ECL. UBS AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $147.00 price target (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub cut shares of Ecolab from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two analysts have 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 an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $134.21.

Ecolab (ECL) opened at 134.09 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $38.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.66 and a beta of 0.98. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $131.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $130.40. Ecolab has a 1-year low of $110.65 and a 1-year high of $134.89.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.08 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post $4.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders 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 1.10%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.79%.

In other Ecolab news, 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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Rench Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.3% during the first quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 2,995 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $375,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.3% during the second quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 2,836 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $377,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Ironwood Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.7% during the second quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 2,708 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $359,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the period. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.39% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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