Sarasin & Partners LLP decreased its stake in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 2.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 945,131 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 27,191 shares during the period. Ecolab accounts for 2.5% of Sarasin & Partners LLP’s holdings, making the stock its 15th largest position. Sarasin & Partners LLP owned 0.33% of Ecolab worth $125,466,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% in the first quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its position in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the first quarter valued at approximately $134,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.53% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) opened at 131.04 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $131.81 and its 200-day moving average price is $128.52. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89. The stock has a market cap of $37.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 0.98.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a return on equity of 18.93% and a net margin of 9.66%. The firm had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.08 earnings per share. Ecolab’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.13%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

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ECL has been the topic of several research reports. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Monday, May 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $133.57.

In other Ecolab news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.52, for a total transaction of $133,520.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 8,922 shares in the company, valued at $1,191,265.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Hickey sold 13,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.30, for a total value of $1,798,810.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,851 shares of company stock worth $5,012,802 in the last 90 days. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Ecolab

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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