First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 5.2% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 222,478 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 11,086 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. owned 0.08% of Ecolab worth $31,220,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. Bailard Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ecolab by 6.1% during the second quarter. Bailard Inc. now owns 6,033 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $847,000 after purchasing an additional 347 shares in the last quarter. Motley Fool Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 13.6% during the second quarter. Motley Fool Asset Management LLC now owns 3,047 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $428,000 after acquiring an additional 364 shares in the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 4.2% during the first quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 9,105 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,248,000 after acquiring an additional 366 shares in the last quarter. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% during the first quarter. Cannell Peter B & Co. Inc. now owns 13,545 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,857,000 after acquiring an additional 380 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Ecolab by 24.5% during the first quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 1,934 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $265,000 after acquiring an additional 380 shares in the last quarter. 76.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:ECL opened at $153.35 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $153.62. The company has a market capitalization of $44.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.70, a P/E/G ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.99.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 18th will be given a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.97%.

In other Ecolab news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 9,800 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.59, for a total value of $1,495,382.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 11,800 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.25, for a total transaction of $1,772,950.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,641 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,800,810.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 73,100 shares of company stock valued at $10,879,715. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

ECL has been the subject of several analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Ecolab from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Canaccord Genuity set a $160.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Nomura raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $146.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, August 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $142.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $147.00.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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