First Hawaiian Bank raised its position in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 42.1% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 22,845 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,771 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $3,366,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of ECL. Colony Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth $211,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. acquired a new position in Ecolab during the 2nd quarter valued at about $26,888,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in Ecolab by 4.9% during the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 50,452 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,910,000 after buying an additional 2,356 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Ecolab by 2.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,846,328 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $603,026,000 after buying an additional 93,640 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cambridge Trust Co. increased its position in Ecolab by 6.2% during the 3rd quarter. Cambridge Trust Co. now owns 77,763 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $12,192,000 after buying an additional 4,507 shares in the last quarter. 75.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ecolab stock opened at $149.63 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.34, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The stock has a market cap of $42.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.90, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $125.74 and a fifty-two week high of $162.91.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.53. The business had revenue of $3.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.74 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.13% and a net margin of 10.99%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.37 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 17th. This is an increase from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. Ecolab’s payout ratio is presently 39.23%.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. UBS Group upped their target price on Ecolab from $165.00 to $180.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Citigroup lowered Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank upped their target price on Ecolab from $150.00 to $162.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 5th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $154.47.

In other Ecolab news, Chairman Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 40,025 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.20, for a total transaction of $6,412,005.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 558,017 shares in the company, valued at approximately $89,394,323.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total value of $450,884.40. Following the sale, the director now owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,277,856.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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Ecolab Profile

Ecolab, Inc engages in the provision of products and services in the field of water, hygiene, and energy. It operates through the following segments: Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications for industrial customers; and cleaning and sanitizing solutions for the food and beverage, and textile care industries.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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