Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. trimmed its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 25,090 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 774 shares during the quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,331,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 60.0% during the 1st quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 871 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,012 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $127,000 after purchasing 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 1st quarter valued at approximately $134,000. 75.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ECL has been the subject of several recent research reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $120.00 to $138.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $141.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on shares of Ecolab from $132.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $133.57.

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Shares of Ecolab Inc. (ECL) opened at 133.23 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $131.75 and its 200 day moving average is $129.11. The firm has a market cap of $38.55 billion, a PE ratio of 30.46 and a beta of 0.99. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $110.65 and a 52 week high of $134.89.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.79%.

In other news, major shareholder William H. Gates III purchased 75,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $132.57 per share, for a total transaction of $10,009,035.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Stephen M. Taylor sold 23,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.06, for a total value of $3,080,472.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 44,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,916,645.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab 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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