Magnetar Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 24,754 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,184,000.

A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of ECL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 1.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,842,027 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,766,780,000 after buying an additional 387,804 shares during the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management increased its position in Ecolab by 34.3% during the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,481,329 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $196,646,000 after buying an additional 378,019 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 66.9% during the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 918,902 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $121,984,000 after buying an additional 368,376 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Ecolab by 2.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,325,707 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $2,034,488,000 after buying an additional 293,303 shares during the last quarter. Finally, C WorldWide Group Holding A S increased its position in Ecolab by 8.3% during the second quarter. C WorldWide Group Holding A S now owns 3,704,233 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $491,737,000 after buying an additional 285,258 shares during the last quarter. 76.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) traded down $0.54 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $136.88. 1,018,100 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 943,540. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.83. Ecolab Inc. has a one year low of $116.64 and a one year high of $137.96. The company has a market capitalization of $39,702.60, a PE ratio of 30.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.05.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.01. Ecolab had a net margin of 9.67% and a return on equity of 19.05%. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.55 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.28 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.77, for a total value of $46,765.19. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,615 shares in the company, valued at $1,026,273.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 11,644 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.50, for a total transaction of $1,601,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 109,542 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,062,025. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 42,585 shares of company stock valued at $5,795,617. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

ECL has been the topic of several analyst reports. UBS increased their target price on shares of Ecolab from $147.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Ecolab from $137.00 to $143.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Instinet restated a “neutral” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Nomura restated a “hold” rating and set a $117.00 price target (down from $120.00) on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $136.86.

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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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