Chicago Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 7,775 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,066,000.
Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Ecolab by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,713,077 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,108,380,000 after purchasing an additional 226,031 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $9,489,000. Ashburton Jersey Ltd increased its stake in Ecolab by 302.9% during the 4th quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 1,370 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $184,000 after purchasing an additional 1,030 shares in the last quarter. Barings LLC bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $2,075,000. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in Ecolab during the 4th quarter valued at about $129,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.21% of the company’s stock.
Shares of ECL stock opened at $146.51 on Wednesday. Ecolab has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $150.46. The company has a market capitalization of $42.70 billion, a PE ratio of 30.83, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 0.77.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 18th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.12%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.97%.
A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $148.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Nomura raised their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $125.00 to $136.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase lowered shares of Ecolab from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $143.94.
In other Ecolab news, Director Jeffrey M. Ettinger bought 6,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $134.42 per share, for a total transaction of $860,288.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,164 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,500,664.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder William H. Gates III bought 694,343 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $132.10 per share, with a total value of $91,722,710.30. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased 1,848,529 shares of company stock valued at $248,579,565 over the last 90 days. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services for customers worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, and Global Energy segments. The Global Industrial segment provides water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to large industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, chemical, mining and primary metals, power generation, pulp and paper, and commercial laundry industries.
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