Insider Buying: Ecolab Inc. (ECL) Major Shareholder Acquires 491,499 Shares of Stock

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 491,499 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 16th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $136.83 per share, for a total transaction of $67,251,808.17. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Major shareholders that own more than 10% of a company’s stock are required to disclose their sales and purchases with the SEC.

Ecolab stock opened at $139.78 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. Ecolab Inc. has a 1-year low of $124.46 and a 1-year high of $141.99. The company has a market capitalization of $40,376.57, a P/E ratio of 29.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.00.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The business had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.25 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal 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 $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.17%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.97%.

Several research analysts have commented 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 raised 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 issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, Citigroup lifted their target price on Ecolab from $140.00 to $144.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note 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 issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $141.06.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 10.7% in the third quarter. Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC now owns 4,125 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $531,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab by 5.6% during the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,606 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,021,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab by 19.0% during the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 2,540 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $327,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors LLC boosted its position in Ecolab by 0.7% during the third quarter. Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors LLC now owns 56,854 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,312,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M Holdings Securities Inc. boosted its position in Ecolab by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 7,591 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $476,000 after purchasing an additional 422 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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

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