Liberty Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 1.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 24,156 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Ecolab makes up approximately 1.9% of Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 14th largest position. Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,186,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the first quarter worth about $134,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in Ecolab by 269.4% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 191,189 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $23,964,000 after buying an additional 139,434 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in Ecolab by 0.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,935,943 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,496,059,000 after buying an additional 31,277 shares during the period. Bell Bank increased its stake in Ecolab by 6.7% in the first quarter. Bell Bank now owns 4,706 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $590,000 after buying an additional 297 shares during the period. Finally, Neuburgh Advisers LLC increased its stake in Ecolab by 25.2% in the first quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC now owns 4,128 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $517,000 after buying an additional 832 shares during the period. 75.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) traded down 0.32% during trading on Friday, reaching $129.81. The company had a trading volume of 618,651 shares. Ecolab Inc. has a 12 month low of $110.65 and a 12 month high of $134.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.56 billion, a PE ratio of 29.68 and a beta of 0.98. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $132.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $127.80.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.08 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 33.79%.

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ECL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $128.00 target price on shares of Ecolab and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price (up previously from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.43.

In related news, EVP Christophe Beck sold 6,959 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $127.11, for a total value of $884,558.49. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 42,419 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,391,879.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total value of $133,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,191,265.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 44,810 shares of company stock worth $5,897,361. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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