Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Analysts at Oppenheimer dropped their FY2018 EPS estimates for shares of Ecolab in a report issued on Tuesday, November 20th. Oppenheimer analyst S. Schneeberger now anticipates that the basic materials company will post earnings of $5.25 per share for the year, down from their previous estimate of $5.40. Oppenheimer has a “Market Perform” rating on the stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q1 2019 earnings at $1.02 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $1.41 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.73 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.74 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $5.90 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $6.55 EPS.

ECL has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. UBS Group raised their price target on Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Bank of America began coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $123.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Ecolab from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $154.47.

Shares of Ecolab stock opened at $155.02 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $45.08 billion, a PE ratio of 33.05, a PEG ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 1.34. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $160.66.

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 the consensus estimate of $1.53. The firm had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.37 earnings per share.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Ancora Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter worth about $107,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the third quarter worth about $110,000. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. grew its stake in shares of Ecolab by 487.7% during the second quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 712 shares during the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $126,000. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $139,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.35% of the company’s stock.

In other Ecolab news, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.76, for a total value of $1,302,912.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 21,363 shares in the company, valued at $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 Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total value of $6,412,005.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 558,017 shares in the company, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 112,110 shares of company stock worth $17,473,320 in the last quarter. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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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