Brokerages predict that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will announce sales of $3.78 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $3.63 billion and the highest is $3.84 billion. Ecolab posted sales of $3.56 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.2%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, October 30th.

On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $14.84 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $14.50 billion to $15.03 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will post sales of $15.65 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $15.45 billion to $16.02 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.96% and a net margin of 10.83%. The company had revenue of $3.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.69 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.13 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Nomura lifted their target price on Ecolab from $146.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $142.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, June 28th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $149.00.

Shares of NYSE ECL opened at $157.12 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 has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $157.23. The company has a market cap of $44.99 billion, a PE ratio of 33.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.99.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Investors 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 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 34.97%.

In related news, Director David Maclennan acquired 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $146.40 per share, with a total value of $73,200.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 2,128 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $311,539.20. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 6,700 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.40, for a total value of $994,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,987 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,114,470.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 114,885 shares of company stock valued at $17,369,786. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. raised its holdings in Ecolab by 487.7% in the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 712 shares in the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $126,000. Signaturefd LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 1st quarter valued at $131,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $139,000. Finally, LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at $154,000. 76.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Company Profile

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.

Recommended Story: Stock Symbols, CUSIP and Other Stock Identifiers

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Ecolab (ECL)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

Receive News & Ratings for Ecolab Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ecolab and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.