Wendell David Associates Inc. grew its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 0.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 140,468 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after acquiring an additional 740 shares during the period. Ecolab comprises about 3.2% of Wendell David Associates Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 4th largest holding. Wendell David Associates Inc.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $18,066,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $106,000. JNBA Financial Advisors grew 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 worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the period. IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab during the 1st quarter worth approximately $117,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.39% of the company’s stock.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE ECL) traded down 0.05% during trading on Monday, reaching $132.73. The company had a trading volume of 68,426 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.35 and a beta of 0.98. Ecolab Inc. has a 12-month low of $110.65 and a 12-month high of $134.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $131.37 and a 200-day moving average of $130.58.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 18.93%. The business had revenue of $3.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.08 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post $4.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 16th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 19th were issued a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was 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 business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $132.57 per share, with a total value of $10,009,035.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 7,397 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.63, for a total transaction of $966,270.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

ECL has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Instinet reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 target price (down previously from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price target (up from $144.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $117.00 price target (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on Ecolab from $134.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $134.21.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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