Nomura Raises Ecolab (ECL) Price Target to $136.00

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) had its target price increased by Nomura from $125.00 to $136.00 in a research report report published on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has a neutral rating on the basic materials company’s stock.

ECL has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $148.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Citigroup downgraded shares of Ecolab from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ecolab from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Friday, January 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $142.11.

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Shares of NYSE:ECL opened at $148.55 on Thursday. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $125.04 and a 52 week high of $150.46. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. The company has a market capitalization of $42,909.86, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.67, a PEG ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 1.00.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.01). Ecolab had a net margin of 10.90% and a return on equity of 19.10%. The firm had revenue of $3.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.25 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Ecolab will post 5.35 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 20th were given a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 19th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.97%.

In other Ecolab news, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 442,519 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $134.60 per share, with a total value of $59,563,057.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 113,768 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 14th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $136.89 per share, with a total value of $15,573,701.52. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 1,848,529 shares of company stock valued at $248,579,565. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECL. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Ecolab by 0.5% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 668,029 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $85,918,000 after purchasing an additional 3,572 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Ecolab by 4.8% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 191,060 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $24,573,000 after acquiring an additional 8,748 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC lifted its stake in Ecolab by 475.4% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 548,104 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $70,492,000 after acquiring an additional 452,846 shares during the last quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $3,489,000. Finally, Pensionfund Sabic acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the fourth quarter valued at $1,744,000. 78.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ecolab Company 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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