Belpointe Asset Management LLC grew its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 7.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 6,896 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 482 shares during the period. Belpointe Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $925,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $125,000. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $129,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $133,000. Community Bank N.A. bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $140,000. Finally, Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $174,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE ECL traded down $1.47 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $139.78. 1,791,781 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,354,733. The stock has a market capitalization of $40,801.25, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.80, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.92. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $124.46 and a one year high of $141.99.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.25 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.17%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 34.97%.
ECL has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $153.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Robert W. Baird dropped their price target on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price target on Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $141.06.
In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 491,499 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $136.83 per share, with a total value of $67,251,808.17. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Roberto Inchaustegui sold 4,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.04, for a total value of $652,992.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,402 shares in the company, valued at $3,727,768.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
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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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