Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt reduced its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 20.0% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,991 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 1,000 shares during the period. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $536,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in ECL. Sterling Capital Management LLC grew its position in Ecolab by 1,397.8% during the 3rd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 570,435 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $73,364,000 after purchasing an additional 532,349 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its position in Ecolab by 475.4% during the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 548,104 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $70,492,000 after purchasing an additional 452,846 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its position in Ecolab by 386.2% during the 3rd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 305,019 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $39,228,000 after purchasing an additional 242,284 shares during the period. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $21,060,000. Finally, AKO Capital LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at about $19,074,000. 76.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded up $0.45 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $129.80. The company had a trading volume of 1,340,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,440,000. The company has a current ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $121.50 and a 12 month high of $140.50. The firm has a market cap of $37,500.00, a PE ratio of 29.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.06.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.26%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 33.33%.
In related news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of Ecolab 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 directly owns 7,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 19,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.54, for a total transaction of $2,654,522.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 43,262 shares in the company, valued at $5,950,255.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
ECL has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Citigroup cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised their target price on Ecolab from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $140.07.
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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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