Insider Buying: Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Major Shareholder Acquires 100,000 Shares of Stock

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $136.08 per share, with a total value of $13,608,000.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Major shareholders that own at least 10% of a company’s shares are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.

Shares of Ecolab stock traded down $1.47 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. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $124.46 and a 52-week high of $141.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.34. The company has a market capitalization of $40,376.57, a P/E ratio of 29.80, a PEG ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.00.

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Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.25 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed 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 1.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.97%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $257,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $412,000. TT International raised its stake in Ecolab by 52.2% during the 3rd quarter. TT International now owns 73,369 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $9,435,000 after acquiring an additional 25,169 shares during the last quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands purchased a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $3,489,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ecolab by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,108,380,000 after acquiring an additional 226,031 shares during the last quarter. 78.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ECL has been the subject of several analyst reports. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Citigroup cut Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird lowered their price objective on Ecolab from $144.00 to $143.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $141.06.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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