Oak Ridge Investments LLC lowered its position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 8.1% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 67,553 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 5,926 shares during the quarter. Ecolab accounts for approximately 1.1% of Oak Ridge Investments LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 26th largest holding. Oak Ridge Investments LLC’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $10,527,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Clean Yield Group acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 1st quarter worth approximately $26,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ecolab by 381.4% in the 1st quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 207 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 164 shares during the period. Procyon Private Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth approximately $33,000. Pacitti Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at $34,000. Finally, Tobias Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.24% of the company’s stock.

In related news, EVP Jerome Charton sold 2,966 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $189.57, for a total value of $562,264.62. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,270 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $809,463.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Victoria Reich sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $209.93, for a total value of $209,930.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,306 shares in the company, valued at $4,472,768.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 35,954 shares of company stock worth $7,255,130 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.22% of the company’s stock.

ECL has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. UBS Group increased their target price on Ecolab from $165.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Deutsche Bank lowered their target price on Ecolab from $220.00 to $170.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 20th. Seaport Global Securities reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Tuesday, February 18th. Boenning Scattergood cut Ecolab from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, February 7th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Ecolab from $171.00 to $177.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $188.15.

Shares of Ecolab stock traded up $8.70 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $220.84. 26,099,966 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,088,669. The company has a current ratio of 1.51, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76. The firm has a market capitalization of $60.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a fifty day moving average of $192.22 and a 200-day moving average of $187.79. Ecolab Inc. has a 52-week low of $124.60 and a 52-week high of $220.39.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 28th. The basic materials company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $3.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.49 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.12% and a net margin of 10.32%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.03 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 16th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 15th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.30%.

Ecolab Company Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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