F3Logic LLC purchased a new position in Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor purchased 8,888 shares of the basic materials company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,592,000.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its stake in Ecolab by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 11,349 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,672,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 15.8% in the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 477,737 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $61,579,000 after purchasing an additional 65,300 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan purchased a new stake in Ecolab in the 4th quarter worth $1,014,000. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. lifted its stake in Ecolab by 31.1% in the 4th quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 245,193 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $35,399,000 after purchasing an additional 58,182 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE lifted its stake in Ecolab by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 4,447,561 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $655,348,000 after purchasing an additional 39,640 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.54% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE ECL traded up $0.77 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $180.02. 6,261 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 945,409. The company has a current ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $51.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.19, a P/E/G ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 0.89. Ecolab Inc. has a 1 year low of $135.77 and a 1 year high of $186.34.

Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.57 billion. Ecolab had a net margin of 10.06% and a return on equity of 19.50%. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.91 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 18th will be given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 17th. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.05%.

In related news, SVP Bruno Lavandier sold 2,969 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.27, for a total value of $544,128.63. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,417,043.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. sold 157,125 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.14, for a total transaction of $26,733,247.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 536,060 shares in the company, valued at $91,205,248.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 335,758 shares of company stock worth $57,738,346 over the last three months. 1.52% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several analysts have commented on ECL shares. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Ecolab from $186.00 to $191.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $186.00 to $198.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ecolab from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. Argus upped their target price on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Boenning Scattergood restated a “buy” rating and set a $210.00 target price on shares of Ecolab in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ecolab has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $180.93.

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Ecolab Profile

Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecolab (NYSE:ECL)

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