Ecolab (ECL) Earns Media Sentiment Rating of 0.16

News coverage about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) has been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern reports. Accern identifies positive and negative news coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a coverage optimism score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news coverage about the basic materials company an impact score of 46.2363393425853 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near term.

Here are some of the media stories that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

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A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $151.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $148.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 price target on Ecolab and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, Citigroup increased 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 equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $141.06.

Shares of NYSE ECL traded down $1.47 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $139.78. The stock had a trading volume of 1,791,781 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,354,733. The company has a market cap of $40,376.57, a PE ratio of 29.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.00. Ecolab has a 1 year low of $124.46 and a 1 year high of $141.99. 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 (NYSE:ECL) last released its 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The business’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.25 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post 5.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.17%. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 34.97%.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Ettinger acquired 6,400 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $134.42 per share, for a total transaction of $860,288.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,164 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,500,664.88. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 113,768 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 14th. The shares were bought at an average price of $136.89 per share, for a total transaction of $15,573,701.52. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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About Ecolab

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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