Ecolab (ECL) Downgraded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Underweight

JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) from a neutral rating to an underweight rating in a research note published on Thursday.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $153.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Canaccord Genuity set a $155.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. Nomura increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $125.00 to $136.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets assumed coverage on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, March 27th. They issued an outperform rating and a $151.00 target price for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $145.44.

Ecolab traded up $0.25, reaching $140.33, during trading hours on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. 1,382,400 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,337,809. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 1.15. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.91 billion, a PE ratio of 29.92, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab has a twelve month low of $125.74 and a twelve month high of $150.46.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The basic materials company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.38 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.62% and a return on equity of 19.01%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.80 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 5.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The company 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 1.17%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.97%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ECL. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 8.2% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 15,942 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,139,000 after purchasing an additional 1,213 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 9.5% in the fourth quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 33,967 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,558,000 after purchasing an additional 2,956 shares during the period. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY purchased a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $203,000. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $133,000. Finally, James Hambro & Partners purchased a new position in Ecolab during the fourth quarter worth about $4,963,000. 75.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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