Pitcairn Co. trimmed its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 4.6% during the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 3,120 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 150 shares during the quarter. Pitcairn Co.’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $651,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Canton Hathaway LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. US Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the third quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Strategic Blueprint LLC acquired a new stake in Ecolab in the second quarter valued at approximately $31,000. West Branch Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter worth approximately $35,000. Finally, Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ecolab by 57.9% in the third quarter. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 210 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $44,000 after acquiring an additional 77 shares during the last quarter. 73.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other news, EVP Timothy P. Mulhere sold 17,913 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $237.48, for a total transaction of $4,253,979.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Machiel Duijser sold 1,452 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $222.75, for a total value of $323,433.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 54,991 shares of company stock worth $12,823,269. 1.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 26th. The basic materials company reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.26 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 20.45% and a net margin of 9.08%. Ecolab’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.15 EPS. Research analysts expect that Ecolab Inc. will post 4.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 18th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 13th. This is a boost from Ecolab’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio is 52.17%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ECL. Mizuho began coverage on Ecolab in a research note on Tuesday, October 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $126.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $237.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Ecolab from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $230.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, October 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their target price on Ecolab from $250.00 to $260.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ecolab from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Ecolab currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $227.30.
Ecolab Company 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 & Specialty, Global Energy & Life Science, and Other. The Global Industrial segment consists of the water, food and beverage, paper, and downstream operating segments.
Further Reading: Understanding dividend yield and dividend payout ratio
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