Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – William Blair lowered their Q2 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Ecolab in a research report issued on Tuesday. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now anticipates that the basic materials company will post earnings per share of $1.21 for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $1.25. William Blair also issued estimates for Ecolab’s FY2019 earnings at $5.85 EPS.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The company 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 posted $1.25 EPS. Ecolab’s revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis.
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. 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. Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, January 29th. 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 company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $140.88.
Shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at $130.84 on Thursday. Ecolab has a 52-week low of $122.30 and a 52-week high of $140.50. The company has a market capitalization of $37,399.96, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.46, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 1.34.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $112,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $125,000. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $129,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $133,000. Finally, Community Bank N.A. acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab in the fourth quarter worth $140,000. 76.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, VP Larry L. Berger sold 5,197 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.37, for a total value of $713,911.89. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 33,110 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,548,320.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total transaction of $46,765.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly 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 three months, insiders have sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Shareholders 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 1.25%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 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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