Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Ecolab (ECL) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $3.70 Billion

Wall Street brokerages predict that Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) will report $3.70 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have made estimates for Ecolab’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $3.79 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $3.63 billion. Ecolab reported sales of $3.46 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.9%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, August 7th.

On average, analysts expect that Ecolab will report full year sales of $14.87 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $14.48 billion to $15.11 billion. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will post sales of $15.59 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $15.39 billion to $15.85 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Ecolab.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.38 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.62% and a return on equity of 19.01%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.80 EPS.

A number of research firms have weighed in on ECL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $148.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Boenning Scattergood restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective 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. Nomura raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $125.00 to $136.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $143.94.

NYSE:ECL traded up $0.76 on Thursday, reaching $147.83. 1,020,732 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,293,799. The firm has a market cap of $42.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.52, a P/E/G ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 1.15. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $150.46.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is 34.97%.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 694,343 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were bought at an average price of $132.10 per share, with a total value of $91,722,710.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III acquired 442,519 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $134.60 per share, for a total transaction of $59,563,057.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders purchased 1,848,529 shares of company stock worth $248,579,565. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ecolab during the fourth quarter valued at about $112,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $125,000. Signaturefd LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at about $131,000. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $133,000. 77.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.

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