Somewhat Favorable Media Coverage Somewhat Unlikely to Affect Ecolab (ECL) Stock Price

Media stories about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) have been trending somewhat positive on Friday, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm ranks the sentiment of media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a media sentiment score of 0.06 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news headlines about the basic materials company an impact score of 46.1430491981987 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near term.

Here are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s analysis:

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on ECL shares. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Citigroup cut shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $137.21.

Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at $137.03 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $39,590.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.86, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $117.53 and a 52-week high of $137.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 1.23.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be paid a $0.41 dividend. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.33%.

In related news, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.09, for a total transaction of $2,467,620.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 427,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $58,612,555.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,250 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.71, for a total transaction of $169,637.50. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,725 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,048,359.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries.

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