Sentry Investment Management LLC decreased its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 19.4% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 13,788 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 3,311 shares during the period. Sentry Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $2,162,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Ecolab by 84.9% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,752,688 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $526,615,000 after buying an additional 1,723,429 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 11,817.2% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,112,230 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $156,080,000 after buying an additional 1,102,897 shares during the last quarter. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at about $147,206,000. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Ecolab by 36.1% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,797,769 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $392,612,000 after buying an additional 742,376 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its stake in Ecolab by 17.3% in the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,074,082 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $431,386,000 after buying an additional 453,400 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.10% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have commented on ECL. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Nomura increased their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $146.00 to $153.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group increased their target price 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. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $154.47.

In related news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $149.76, for a total value of $1,302,912.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,363 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,199,322.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 11,800 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,641 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,800,810.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 112,110 shares of company stock valued at $17,473,320. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Ecolab stock opened at $159.33 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a twelve month low of $125.74 and a twelve month high of $160.61. The company has a market cap of $46.33 billion, a PE ratio of 33.97, a P/E/G ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.53. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 19.13%. The firm had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.37 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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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