Fred Alger Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 49.8% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 4,775 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,587 shares during the quarter. Fred Alger Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $641,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of ECL. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $125,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $133,000. Community Bank N.A. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $140,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $174,000. Finally, Chelsea Counsel Co. acquired a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $201,000. Institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $148.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 12th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $141.06.
Shares of Ecolab stock opened at $139.78 on Friday. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $124.46 and a 12-month high of $141.99. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $40,113.77, a PE ratio of 29.80, a P/E/G ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 1.00.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.25 EPS. research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.97%.
In other Ecolab news, Director Jeffrey M. Ettinger purchased 6,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $134.42 per share, for a total transaction of $860,288.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 11,164 shares in the company, valued at $1,500,664.88. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 442,519 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $134.60 per share, with a total value of $59,563,057.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 1,848,529 shares of company stock valued at $248,579,565. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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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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