Equities research analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) will report sales of $3.78 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $3.87 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $3.61 billion. Ecolab reported sales of $3.65 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.6%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 19th.

On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $14.73 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $14.52 billion to $14.93 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post sales of $15.50 billion, with estimates ranging from $15.11 billion to $15.88 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.53. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.37 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday. UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Deutsche Bank lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 5th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $154.47.

Ecolab stock traded up $0.37 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $158.68. 13,229 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,412,681. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $160.61. The firm has a market cap of $45.50 billion, a PE ratio of 33.86, a PEG ratio of 2.34 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.

In other news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the director now 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total transaction of $6,412,005.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 558,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 112,110 shares of company stock valued at $17,473,320 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Edgewood Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 19.7% in the third quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 6,762,577 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,060,237,000 after purchasing an additional 1,111,893 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,846,328 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $603,026,000 after acquiring an additional 93,640 shares in the last quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,410,955 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $534,770,000 after acquiring an additional 11,155 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its position in Ecolab by 17.3% during 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 acquiring an additional 453,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Ecolab by 36.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,797,769 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $392,612,000 after acquiring an additional 742,376 shares in the last quarter. 76.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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