Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) – Analysts at Seaport Global Securities increased their Q1 2018 earnings estimates for shares of Ecolab in a note issued to investors on Monday, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Harrison now forecasts that the basic materials company will post earnings of $0.96 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.93. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Ecolab’s Q2 2018 earnings at $1.33 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.54 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.55 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $5.38 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $1.12 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $1.51 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.72 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.73 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.07 EPS.
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. UBS Group boosted their price target 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. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecolab presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.07.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new position in Ecolab in the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Ecolab by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 811 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $125,000. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. bought a new position in Ecolab in the 4th quarter valued at about $133,000. 76.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 347 shares of the company’s 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 sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,026,273.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas W. Handley sold 11,644 shares of the company’s 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 directly owns 109,542 shares in the company, valued at $15,062,025. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 57,446 shares of company stock worth $7,886,307. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.25%. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.26%.
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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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