Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 9,800 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.59, for a total transaction of $1,495,382.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link.

Shares of Ecolab stock traded up $0.15 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $153.35. 873,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,217,257. The company has a market capitalization of $44.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.51, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $153.62.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27. The business had revenue of $3.69 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.69 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.83% and a return on equity of 18.96%. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.13 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 17th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.97%.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on ECL. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $142.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 26th. Nomura lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $136.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 28th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, Oppenheimer lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $153.00 to $156.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $147.00.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 487.7% during the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 712 shares in the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $126,000. Signaturefd LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at $131,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $139,000. Finally, LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at $154,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.42% of the company’s stock.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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