News coverage about Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) has been trending somewhat positive recently, according to Accern. Accern identifies positive and negative media coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Ecolab earned a media sentiment score of 0.16 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned press coverage about the basic materials company an impact score of 46.8975943873587 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

These are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment Analysis’s scoring:

ECL has been the subject of a number of research reports. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ecolab in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of Ecolab from $129.00 to $137.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Canaccord Genuity set a $145.00 price target on shares of Ecolab and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Ecolab in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. Finally, Citigroup downgraded shares of Ecolab from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $140.88.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) opened at $136.83 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $39,510.05, a PE ratio of 26.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.07. Ecolab has a 12 month low of $122.58 and a 12 month high of $140.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.34.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly 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 firm posted $1.25 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Ecolab will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.20%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 31.91%.

In other news, 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 stock was acquired at an average cost of $132.10 per share, for a total transaction of $91,722,710.30. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, 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 purchased at an average price of $134.42 per share, with a total value of $860,288.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 11,164 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,500,664.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 1,143,262 shares of company stock valued at $152,146,056. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

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About Ecolab

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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