Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 442,519 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The stock was bought at an average price of $134.60 per share, for a total transaction of $59,563,057.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Major shareholders that own at least 10% of a company’s shares are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded up $1.38 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $138.08. The company had a trading volume of 1,852,428 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,339,240. The firm has a market capitalization of $39,486.94, a PE ratio of 26.86, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.07. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $122.58 and a 52-week high of $140.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.34.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.10% and a net margin of 10.90%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.25 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current year.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 10.7% in the third quarter. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC now owns 4,125 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $531,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,606 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,021,000 after acquiring an additional 405 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 19.0% in the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,540 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $327,000 after acquiring an additional 406 shares during the last quarter. Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the third quarter. Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors LLC now owns 56,854 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,312,000 after acquiring an additional 406 shares during the last quarter. Finally, M Holdings Securities Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 7,591 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $476,000 after acquiring an additional 422 shares during the last quarter. 78.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
ECL has been the topic of several analyst reports. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Citigroup cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, January 19th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird reduced their price target on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.88.
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Ecolab Company Profile
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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