APG Asset Management N.V. cut its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 20.1% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 412,237 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 103,700 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. owned 0.14% of Ecolab worth $46,064,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $2,117,000. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in Ecolab by 142.6% in the fourth quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 45,782 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $6,143,000 after purchasing an additional 26,914 shares during the last quarter. Pratt Collard Advisory Partners LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,355,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $174,000. Finally, Spearhead Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,505,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.52% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) opened at $130.16 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $37,610.00, a P/E ratio of 29.32, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.06. 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 Inc. has a 12 month low of $120.46 and a 12 month high of $140.50.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.26%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.33%.
ECL has been the subject of a number of research reports. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Jefferies Group increased their target price on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays increased their price objective on Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. UBS Group increased their price objective on Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.07.
In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,250 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.71, for a total value of $169,637.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,725 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,048,359.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.09, for a total value of $2,467,620.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 427,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $58,612,555.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 57,446 shares of company stock valued at $7,886,307 in the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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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