BB&T Investment Services Inc. raised its holdings in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 42.9% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 5,132 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,541 shares during the quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $687,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. Lake Street Advisors Group LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $385,000. DF Dent & Co. Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. DF Dent & Co. Inc. now owns 1,221,263 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $163,869,000 after acquiring an additional 20,358 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $10,795,000. BB&T Securities LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 7.3% in the 4th quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 90,629 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $12,160,000 after acquiring an additional 6,134 shares during the period. Finally, HBK Sorce Advisory LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.33% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $153.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.76.
Shares of ECL stock opened at $136.63 on Wednesday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $122.58 and a 12-month 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. The firm has a market cap of $39,885.57, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.58, a PEG ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.07.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.10% and a net margin of 10.90%. The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.25 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.91%.
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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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