Brokerages Expect Ecolab Inc. (ECL) to Post $1.40 EPS

Equities research analysts expect Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) to report $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.39 to $1.43. Ecolab posted earnings of $1.25 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 12%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report before the market opens on Tuesday, February 20th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year earnings of $4.70 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.69 to $4.73. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report earnings of $5.32 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.20 to $5.56. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.55 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.05% and a net margin of 9.67%. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share.

ECL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. UBS Group boosted their price target on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Citigroup downgraded Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $137.21.

Ecolab (NYSE ECL) traded up $1.40 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $139.75. The company had a trading volume of 1,070,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,020,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $40,380.00, a P/E ratio of 31.48, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.05. Ecolab has a fifty-two week low of $117.55 and a fifty-two week high of $139.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 1.23.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 33.33%.

In other news, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 11,644 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.50, for a total transaction of $1,601,050.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 109,542 shares in the company, valued at $15,062,025. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total value of $46,765.19. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,615 shares in the company, valued at $1,026,273.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $295,000. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.9% during the second quarter. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC now owns 86,791 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $11,522,000 after purchasing an additional 2,432 shares during the last quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.5% during the second quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 817,279 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $108,494,000 after purchasing an additional 3,725 shares during the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Courier Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the second quarter worth about $282,000. Institutional investors own 76.57% 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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