Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Research analysts at Gabelli cut their FY2018 earnings estimates for shares of Ecolab in a note issued to investors on Thursday, November 1st. Gabelli analyst R. Morbelli now forecasts that the basic materials company will post earnings of $5.24 per share for the year, down from their prior estimate of $5.35. Gabelli also issued estimates for Ecolab’s FY2019 earnings at $5.90 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $6.60 EPS, FY2021 earnings at $7.35 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $8.10 EPS.
Several other research analysts have also recently commented on ECL. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $151.00 to $159.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Nomura reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $146.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $150.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $152.38.
Shares of ECL opened at $154.59 on Friday. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $125.74 and a 12 month high of $159.92. The company has a market cap of $44.66 billion, a PE ratio of 30.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.53. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.99% and a return on equity of 19.13%. The company had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.37 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECL. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ecolab by 487.7% during the 2nd quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. now owns 858 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 712 shares in the last quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $126,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $139,000. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at approximately $154,000. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.15% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Victoria Reich sold 6,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.40, for a total transaction of $994,280.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 20,987 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,114,470.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Arthur J. Higgins sold 8,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.76, for a total transaction of $1,302,912.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 21,363 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,199,322.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 104,285 shares of company stock worth $15,825,260 in the last quarter. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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